A Birmingham employment firm has been awarded a contract to work with the Ministry of Justice in helping to turn around the lives of offenders.
Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) has landed a four-year contract to operate across Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Staffordshire and the Black Country.
PPDG, which has its headquarters in Edgbaston, Birmingham, will work in partnership with the Prison and Probation Services to deliver the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), an European Social Fund CFO programme.
The service is designed to tackle the root causes of reoffending and stop the revolving door of crime.
A recent Government green paper concluded that almost half of prisoners reoffend within a year post-release, highlighting unemployment as a key significant factor. By engaging the expertise of private businesses such as PPDG, it is envisaged that levels of unemployment among the prison population can be significantly reduced.
Chief executive Steve King said: “The expertise we have built up working with disadvantaged jobseekers in the West Midlands region will now be applied to support ex-offenders in the region, many of whom possess a desire not to end up back inside, are motivated and need structured help to secure sustainable employment.
“They receive training in prison and want to work once released rather than returning to crime so there is a distinct advantage for employers which can even be enhanced through our own bespoke packages.
“Ex-offenders have to deal with some of the hardest barriers to employment and our record so far in the North East speaks for itself. This success can only be made possible through the very close working partnership we have already established with NOMS, the prisons and Probation Services, something we intend to expand on here in the West Midlands.”
Following a rigorous bidding process PPDG was awarded the contract after success with a similar deal in the North East where the organisation has successfully placed in excess of 160 ex-offenders into employment – more than twice the anticipated target – within the last 10 months.
Under the contract, current and ex-offenders will benefit from enhanced employability skills, improved confidence and motivation, an updated CV and links into employment opportunities.
The programme, co-financed by the European Social Fund, is aimed at people serving the last months of a custodial sentence or under supervision of probation services within the community.