Novus is taking forward an integrated regional approach to improving the volume and quality of contacts between the prison service, Novus, partners and employers in the Greater London Region, in order to increase the number of offenders who find work on release and thereby reduce the re-offending rate.
Working with employers will improve offenders' prospects in the job market - ensuring that Novus courses are relevant to employers' needs, and overcoming employers' resistance to employing ex-offenders. It will contribute directly to reducing re-offending, and will benefit the offender, offenders’ families, and the communities that they return to.
The overarching aim of the Greater London Region Learning & Skills strategy is to prepare prisoners for the successful transition into sustainable employment. The priorities are to link the Learning and Skills delivery strategy with finding suitable and sustainable employment for prisoners upon release and develop strategies to engage employers in reducing re-offending.
The Employer Engagement Strategy aims to engage with employers through a sector approach, to have a better understanding of the requirements of particular industries and to remove the barriers that prevent prisoners progressing into employment upon release. The strategy targets employers in sectors that have significant skills gaps and/or who are receptive to recruiting ex-offenders.
Novus learners studying Hospitality and Catering at HMP Send were visited by an ambassador from The Dorchester in London. Anett Kraszujak, a Reservations Supervisor at the five-star venue, gave real life scenarios and experiences of the softer employment skills which play a vital role in working life.
With a vast amount of knowledge of the hospitality industry, Anett was interested to hear from tutor Andy Shucksmith about the personal skills which are embedded into the Novus courses, including time management, personal appearance, team work, communication skills, pride, motivation, organisation and planning. She told learners that those kind of attributes can help them in the future.
I enjoyed learning about the history of The Dorchester. It comes across as a very interesting and fulfilling industry.