Prosper4Jobs is a new venture that sets out to place ex-offenders in employment. While, in the past, prisoners were restricted to paper-based communications, as IT internet networks are banned from a prison environment, Prosper worked closely with some prisons to introduce a new way of working in terms of recruitment. Prosper uses technology, matches potential candidates with businesses looking to recruit, and supports ex-offenders in finding employment opportunity on an equal basis.
The government statistics are compelling: more than 60 percent of prison leavers who do not find employment will reoffend, whereas this figure drops to as little as five percent once a person is employed.
With the prison service estimated to cost the UK approx £32,500 per capita per year, and with a wealth of under-used industrial capacity inside every prison in the core sectors which are suffering talent shortages, such as hospitality, construction and retail, the opportunity for businesses to increase their headcount from this untapped pool of trained people is clear.
Volcanic was delighted to support the project on a pro bono basis, delivering a professional jobs board to allow businesses to place jobs in a familiar format, and former offenders to search and apply for jobs on a level playing field.
The results have been spectacular. Whereas previously, former offenders might have little knowledge of how to compete in the jobs market, and businesses might not have thought of tapping into this source of people, the new Prosper4Jobs digital job board allows companies to advertise opportunities specifically to ex offenders, while ex-offenders now have an environment tailored to their job-seeking needs.
Michael Corrigan, CEO of Prosper takes up the story: “Helping people who were leaving prison or on probation to find employment used to be hugely time-consuming - and therefore expensive - as people would need a great deal of support, having had no access to technology or any form of online communications during their time in prison.
“For the first time, with the support of Volcanic’s recruitment technology, we can offer a game changing solution - a fully functional digital jobs board to help people back into work.
“This has brought significant benefits both to business and to individuals: firstly, our professional approach has attracted large global brands in the engineering, hospitality and retail sectors to work with Prosper and recruit from our talent pool. Secondly, our new platform has changed the mindset of people leaving prison by bringing them together with employers actively seeking to recruit - breaking the cycle of individuals re-offending and helping completely turn their lives around.
"Prosper is increasing its reach to all groups of marginalised people, creating change in this area and delivering substantial economic and social benefits.”
Rob Wilde, CEO at Volcanic said: “At Volcanic, we are well known for driving change and disrupting the norm to find new and better ways of working. We’re delighted to support the ground-breaking work of Prosper in bringing about positive change to people's lives.”
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