Kelly is an ex-offender who completed a three-week work placement with Interserve, to gain new skills and confidence, though The Wallich’s Building Opportunities Skills and Success (BOSS) project.
As part of a scheme to develop new senior leaders, Interserve construction business based in Swansea, proposed a new partnership with The Wallich to help those who face additional barriers into employment.
We suggested they join our BOSS project, which works with both ex-offenders and employers to help them overcome the stigma associated with criminal records.
Kelly, a BOSS project client, was soon invited to the Interserve office for a soft introduction to the team.
She had been convicted of drug-related offences in the past, but was keen to get back to work.
Kelly’s tasks were varied, to give a wide breadth of experience, but not too challenging in order to build up her confidence.
She was initially given a week’s work experience, but proved so engaged and useful that she returned for a further two-week placement.
Kelly was given a week of experience with teams, managing construction administration as well as reception and accounting work.
A workbook was also prepared detailing clear objectives and learning outcomes for tasks such as: managing wages and staff holidays, invoice queries, greeting people, post, purchase orders and record-keeping, with comments from the supporting staff and from the candidate following each new experience.
Kelly said of her work placement:
“Working with BOSS and Interserve was life changing.
“My confidence and self-esteem has grown so much and I would recommend this placement to anyone interested into going back to work.
“I was treated as one of the staff, and what I thought would be very difficult, such as accounts actually worked out very well, with the support of staff.
“I also felt that BOSS and Interserve had belief and confidence in me, which made me even more determined to continue to do well in life.”
Kelly received a level ‘Excellent’ for all the tasks she was given, and fitted well into the team. She performed especially well in accounting, and impressed the team so much that they will keep her in mind for future relevant job roles.
David Bennett, Corporate Liaison Co-Ordinator, at The Wallich said:
“We are grateful to Interserve for their offer to provide Kelly with invaluable work experience.
“Not only did this increase Kelly’s confidence, unearth unknown skills and increase her employability, it also acted as a catalyst for change in other areas of her life.
“To receive such outstanding feedback on Kelly was very rewarding and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Interserve.”
Interserve’s Swansea office found the experience a rewarding one and has elected to remain an employer for the BOSS programme.
Interserve and The Wallich believe ex-offenders are an untapped talent pool, who are usually loyal and productive employees; quite the opposite of the stereotype.
Research has shown that 10 million adults in the UK have criminal records, and employment can reduce the rate of reoffending by up to 50%. Yet only 12 percent of employers have employed someone with a criminal record in the past three years.
We will continue to help people who face the barrier of a criminal record when trying to get back into work.