February 2019 update – We have done some work to update the original guide and have now published a version 2 of the guide.
People with criminal records make up a sizeable proportion of the unemployed population – 33% of Job Seekers Allowance claimants have received a criminal record in the last ten years. For many, it can be their main barrier to employment; people with convictions are the least likely ‘disadvantaged group’ to be employed, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of people unemployed on release from prison.
We know that employability professionals provide a vital form of support to people in the community. Yet according to a recent government report, only 29% of prison leavers received advice on dealing with their criminal record from the Work Programme. Historically, they have had very little training on supporting their clients with the complex laws around criminal records and how to practically deal with disclosing their criminal record to employers and others.
That’s why we deliver training to employability professionals; so that we improve the quality of the support provided to people with criminal records. We know from the feedback that we get that the training is high-quality and relevant to their work.
That’s also why we’ve recently worked with the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) and today have published a ’10 things about criminal records’ guide aimed specifically at employability professionals.
The guide is designed for practitioners that support people with criminal records into employment, including employability professionals, job centre advisors, careers advisors and probation officers.
The guide is available to download and forms part of IEP’s range of ’10 things’ guides. We hope it serves as a useful introduction and reference point for employability professionals. It provides an overview of the key areas, following a similar structure to that taken by our ‘Advising with Convictions’ one-day training course.
Our training courses are regularly run in London. Places can be booked online. In-house training sessions for larger teams are also available; if you’re interested in learning more, details are available online or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Christopher Stacey, Co-director of Unlock
- The ’10 things about criminal records’ guide is available to download.