From the wings to the workplace: Prisoner’s employment success story
Service user Katie* was facing the likely prospect of unemployment when her six-year prison sentence for drug related offences came to an end. Employment figures for the general prison population are quite damning, but for women they are even worse: less than one in ten successfully find employment one year after their release. But thanks to Seetec Justice’s support to prisoners, with a dedicated employment coach and access to real employers inside prisons, the outcome for Katie has been far more positive.
Katie was one of the first employees of the ‘Remade with Hope’ workshop, which sees prisoners learning sewing, packaging and logistics skills. She became one of the workshop supervisors and very quickly adapted to the role, organising the workshop and supporting the other employees.
Seetec Justice employment coach Juliet worked with Katie to discuss her job aspirations in preparation for her release, taking into account licence conditions, the barriers she might face and how she would overcome these.
As a licence condition, Katie would have to stay in supported housing. She also expressed hope to regain contact and rebuild a strong, healthy relationship with her child. Both issues determined the type of job Katie would be able to apply for and the hours she could work.
After reviewing the vacancies in Katie’s home town, Seetec supported Katie to apply for suitable roles local to her accommodation, helping her to adapt her CV and target it to meet the job requirements. Together, they also composed a suitable supporting letter, personal statement and disclosure letter.
Thanks to all this work, Katie secured a part-time cleaning job, and was able to start straight away when she was released.
‘I’ve enjoyed my time working in the Remade with Hope workshop and feel I’ve acquired useful new skills. At the moment, I’m happy with the job I found, but when the time is right and I want to move on to something new, I have the knowledge of how to target my CV and apply for other suitable jobs.’
Juliet, Seetec Justice’s employment coach, said:
‘Katie was one of the first people I helped. To begin with she was very hard to engage, but slowly, by working alongside Katie, I gained her trust. I’m really pleased all the work we did together has helped her to find a job.’
*Photo is posed by a model and name has been changed to protect privacy