Over 45,000 people supervised by the National Probation Service are set to receive Education, Training and Employment (ETE) support under the rollout of four major Ministry of Justice contracts across London, the North West, the West Midlands and Wales.
Maximus UK – a global leader in the delivery of health, employment, and case-management programmes – will be the single largest provider of the new service, and has enlisted the help of ex-offender employment specialist Offploy CIC to provide lived experience of what it takes to break the cycle of crime.
With 62% of Offploy’s own workforce having experienced the criminal justice system first-hand, the social enterprise will consult on the content and tone of internal and external communications – from the viewpoint of the service user – working in partnership with Maximus UK to advocate for ex-offender employment.
Offploy’s director of sustainability, Richard Strauss, explained: “Maximus is a global leader in government services, and we’re humbled that Offploy’s unique peer-lived experience of the criminal justice system has earned us a place on its radar.
“Our role is to support Maximus UK with their employer engagement strategy to make the case for, and support the implementation of, employment opportunities for ex-offenders across the UK – through the delivery of focused training alongside the creation of resources.”
Offploy has worked closely with Maximus during the development of its ETE service offering, and the ETE contract director, Craig Walker, added: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Offploy on the roll-out, providing first-hand experience on both sides of the criminal justice system, as well as proven success in the delivery of this type of programme.”
Richard Strauss concluded: “We celebrate Maximus UK’s ongoing commitment to harnessing Offploy’s lived experience of the criminal justice system in order to consult across various aspects of the delivery – and look forward to working with the team during the course of these contracts.
“Being recognised by an industry leader such as Maximus UK is a real ‘feather in the cap’ for Offploy. From a business plan written in a prison cell, to now being a team of over twenty colleagues, we are committed to supporting people with criminal convictions into meaningful, mentored and sustainable employment in any way we can.”
The three-year programme, designed to help candidates to access education, improve their skills and to find or maintain sustainable employment will also see Maximus UK target employers, in a bid to raise awareness of the benefits of more inclusive recruitment practices, and source job opportunities across a range of sectors.