New project – Fair Access to Employment

We are delighted to report that Unlock has been awarded a three-year grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation that will enable us to deliver a programme of work that will challenge the discrimination faced by people with convictions in getting employment.

This marks the beginning of a significant area of work for Unlock, enabling us to focus on addressing a number of key issues that combine to unfairly exclude so many people from moving on in their lives.

Building on our track-record of working with Government, employers and other sectors, our approach will aim to ‘support and challenge’. It will also play to Unlock’s strengths as an independent advocacy charity in holding organisations to account and speaking truth to power.

Commenting on the news, Christopher Stacey, Co-Director at Unlock, said “We know from people with convictions that finding and keeping employment is the biggest problem they face as a result of having a criminal record – often many years after they were convicted. This project will enable us to actively challeng some of the unfair treatment that people with convictions face, as well as supporting employers and others involved in recruitment processes, to make sure that people with convictions are treated fairly.”

“Our focus will be to make sure that employers understand that the people we’re encouraging them to open their doors to are those that could be potentially fantastic employees, yet at the moment they’re missing out on these people because of the policies and practices that they have in place. We’ll also be doing a lot of work to improve and challenge processes used by employers to carry out criminal record checks, such as the Disclosure & Barring Service and Disclosure Scotland.”

More details about the project are available at www.unlock.org.uk/policy-issues/employment-discrimination

Sign up to receive project updates here (selecting to receive ‘news on our Project – Fair Access to Employment’)

 

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Notes to editors

  1. Press/media contact: Christopher Stacey, Co-Director christopher.stacey@unlock.org.uk / 07557 676433
  2. Unlock is an independent award-winning charity, providing trusted information, advice and support for people with criminal convictions. Our staff and volunteers combine professional training with personal experience to help others overcome the long-term problems that having a conviction can bring. Our knowledge and insight helps us to work with government, employers and others, to change policies and practices to create a fairer and more inclusive society so that people with convictions can move on in their lives. Our website is www.unlock.org.uk.
  3. Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. They do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. They make grants of £30 – £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. They also operate a £26 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit. Their website is www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk.
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