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Ex-Offenders are Source of New Labour


A government scheme plans to broaden the UK skills pool by encouraging employers to hire ex-criminals.

The project, launched by the Home Office and National Probation Service, aims to emphasise to business the economic and social benefits of hiring ex-offenders.

By employing this previously untapped skills pool, many industries can benefit from improved standards, they claim.

According to the initiative, employment can also reduce the risk of re-offending by 35%. Currently 50% of individuals serving probation are without jobs.

This strategy is part of a wider government programme to address the problem of re-offending. In February, Home Secretary Charles Clarke announced the launch of a scheme to bring basic skills training to this group to improve their employment prospects.

Sir Digby Jones, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), emphasised the value that this skills pool could have to employers.

“Business simply can’t afford to waste the skills and potential that offenders have. It’s not only socially right and morally the right thing to do, it just makes good business sense.”


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