Offploy is a Community Interest Company with a social mission to help radically alter the perceptions of UK Industry about what it means to employ people with convictions. Already operating in a multi-regional capacity around the UK, Offploy have recently entered into partnership with Weston College Offender Learning Services, with the intention to make a sizeable impact on the reduction of re-offending rate. This new initiative will focus specifically on helping South West based businesses understand and navigate the process of recruiting ex-offenders in a safe and fair manner, in order to create employment opportunities for people leaving custody.
Seven of the ten members of staff at Offploy have criminal convictions, bringing a unique understanding and perspective of the difficulties faced by people with convictions. This figure includes Entrepreneur and Offploy’s founding CEO Jacob Hill, who wrote the business case for Offploy from his Prison Cell. Jacob’s vision is to reshape the labour market of the 21st century, practically helping those otherwise excluded from the opportunity to make a living through honest means. Ultimately, it is our hope that the UK workforce will come to better reflect society’s more progressive movement towards inclusion and diversity.
However, as it currently stands, only 26.2% of people finishing a custodial sentence will be able to find work, while 50% of employers still refuse to consider taking on someone with unspent convictions. However, with a relatively low unemployment rate and a shrinking pool of labour to draw from, UK industries are already facing a potential crisis with the shadow of Brexit looming. The opportunity for businesses to benefit from the skills and abilities of this marginalised people group is excellent and may help to provide a workable solution to the current national skills gap.
With a target of getting 50 people into work by 31st July, Offploy are confident that through their new partnership with Weston College Offender Learning Services, they have an amazing opportunity to radically impact the lives of countless families and help South Western communities blighted by poverty and crime.