Working Chance Takes Women from Jail to Job

Amie Sparrow
By Amie Sparrow,
updated on Apr 26, 2019

Working Chance Takes Women from Jail to Job

The London-based recruitment consultancy works exclusively with women ex-offenders and care leavers

Working Chance, the only recruitment consultancy of its kind in the UK, supports women to find work with real career prospects, and aims to educate more employers to change its hiring practices to be more inclusive.

The charity says that employment is one of the very few proven solutions to re-offending. Recent Department for Work and Pensions research showed 4 out of 5 employers fail to have special recruitment procedures in place for disadvantaged groups, including women leaving the criminal justice system. The charity says employers are missing out on a talent pool of capable, creative, intelligent, resilient and hard-working women if they exclude this group.

Working Chance receives no government funding to deliver their services, and has placed over 1,750 women with convictions into work and has maintained a candidate re-offending rate less than 4% since its inception. The charity works with women with convictions and care leavers, as 1 in 3 women who have spent time in prison have also spent time in care - as have 61% of girls aged 15-18 who receive custodial sentences every year, according to the charity.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd recently visited the charity’s London headquarters and discussed how work is helping women offenders turn their lives around.

“Employment is a powerful tool that empowers women economically and means they can take control over their own life,” Rudd said. “But for too many women, especially those leaving the criminal justice system, having a job can feel unreachable. Working Chance proves it can be made a reality. By working with business, as we also do in our job centres, we can put opportunities within a woman’s grasp, and support her to seize the chance to change her life.”

Emma Freivogal, Chief Operations Officer, Working Chance said, “Working Chance has transformed the lives of thousands of women and their children to date but it’s vital that we continue to challenge the prejudices and preconceptions prevalent about ex-offenders among many employers and prevent women from becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and offending. We were delighted to host the Secretary of State and to show her first-hand the difference that having secure employment makes to women who have been in prison.”

Working Chance runs regular employability events, both in women's prisons and at corporate offices, designed to prepare candidates for job interviews and returning to the world of work. Contact Working Chance to find out more about hosting or volunteering.

Photo by kate.sade on Unsplash

Amie Sparrow

By Amie Sparrow

Amie is a contributing writer for Happiful and PR Manager for Happiful and Memiah.

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