A criminal record can be a barrier to employment, putting many at risk of re-offending behaviour or homelessness. One solution is The Wallich’s Building Opportunities, Skills and Success (BOSS) project. It provides employment prospects and training to ex-offenders and prisoners in South Wales.
Read Pete’s* story:
“I was released from prison after 20 years in August 2016. I knew that I wanted to work and that I had many skills I would be able to offer an employer. I also knew that it would be difficult for me given my circumstances.
I would not let this beat me, though. I made my claim at the Job Centre and, after a short period of acclimatising myself to being ‘out’, we started to talk about the best way to get myself into work and how to approach employers.
My work coach and I had a chat about the BOSS project through The Wallich and I was given a leaflet and contact details
Over Christmas 2016, I put together a CV and information about myself and emailed this across to the BOSS Project.
I engaged with them in January 2017 and attended regular meetings to discuss what they could offer me and what I could offer an employer.
I have qualifications in construction and consider myself to be a practical person with good skills. So this seemed like the best option for me job wise. My BOSS Mentor regularly contacted me between appointments and offered support at all times.
Due to health and safety requirements for working on a construction site, I initially needed to get through my Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) test and get my CSCS card. I was able to do this through BOSS and was able to have practice sessions with them to prepare me for the test. I passed my test and received my CSCS card shortly afterwards.
BOSS referred me to Acorn Recruitment and they started to look for work for me
I was offered a position with a large construction company and I started this job at the beginning of May 2017. I am happy in the job, get along well with my colleagues and am learning new things all the time.
The BOSS project has continued to stay in touch with me whilst I am in work.
I also attended a Vehicle Banksman course, arranged through the BOSS project. I will now have additional qualifications and skills to add to my CV and it is good to know that they are still helping me when I need it.
I knew it would be difficult for me coming out of prison after such a long time, but I am now settled and working which is where I wanted to be. The BOSS project took a lot of the difficulty in declaring my offences to Employers away from me.
I am working hard and enjoying my job and am hoping that I will continue in work.
*Pete is a pseudonym to protect the client’s identity
The BOSS project aims to re-integrate ex-offenders into their communities by giving them the skills, qualifications, confidence and support they need to gain employment or set up their own business after time in prison.