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Feature FIS supports Bounce Back, a training provider, charity and social enterprise focused on the training and employment of people in and leaving prison. Here, we explain how the scheme benefits everyone involved, including our sector. A SECOND CHANCE 10 www.thefis.org F OUNDED by Fran Findlater OBE, Bounce Back has supported nearly 2,000 people and now partners some outstanding construction companies who employ their participants. From a single training centre established a decade ago, Bounce Back now has five in prison and two outside, delivering a variety of construction training courses. They focus on getting people into paid employment in the construction industry, Bounce Back is industry-led and trains people in the skills known to be needed on site. By responding specifically to demand in this way they give participants the best opportunities for employment by training and equipping ex-offenders with the skills and qualifications to move into the workplace. They seek to fill the skills gap in the construction industry and act as a ‘go-to’ for the construction industry who know they can go to Bounce Back to get much needed, enthusiastic employees. Case managers engage with participants while they are still in prison and support them on release for as long as required. They also work with employers to facilitate the transition into work. One of Bounce Back’s training centres is at HMP Brixton and it is supported by partners such as Alandale, Encon, Landsec, Knauf, NJC and Nevill Long, who have been involved in the development of the drylining, scaffolding and aerial window cleaning training. Not only should this help reduce the recidivism rate it helps to give a person a renewed sense of self-worth. Fran said: “Employing people from prison has huge rehabilitative benefits and it gives them a chance for the first time in their lives and they often become loyal employees, their families welcome them back, where perhaps previously, they have become completely disconnected.” In a March 2022 statement, Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, said: “I am relentlessly focused on cutting crime and protecting the public. To deliver that, we need to divert criminal offenders away from a life of crime, and onto a law-abiding path. Research shows that an offender who has a job on release from prison is up to 9% less likely to reoffend than one who doesn’t. However, just 14% of prison leavers get jobs within six months of release. So, we’ve got to pull every lever to open up doors for offenders to find work.” HMP Brixton visit At the end of March, Iain McIlwee, FIS CEO. and representatives of FIS member firms were hosted at HMP Brixton by Fran and Joanne Keane, the Bounce Back Volunteer and Business Liaison Manager, to learn more about Bounce Back and see the scheme in action. Iain said: “The work that Bounce Back is doing is humbling and it was an honour for me to meet the people that are training for life after prison. We all have preconceptions and prejudices, but often these are formed simply based on the luck, choices and influences we have had that went on to shape our lives. “Of course, we have to be alert to opportunities to fill our skills gaps and we need to be creative about how we do that, but Bounce Back is more than that. Working in our sector is a privilege, not just because of what we do, but how we do it. If we could Fran Findlater (far left) hosting the recent visit to HMP Brixton Prison

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