Solar Gates pilots new Employment Advisory Board at HMP Standford Hill

April 2022

HMPPS have started a national, government led, program to introduce employers into all 91 resettlement prisons across England and Wales. The outcomes of the project are to help solve critical labour shortages as well as reducing reoffending.

Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, Victoria Atkins MP urged employers to help “break the cycle” of reoffending and laid out the governments’ plan to streamline this ideal into a reality for employers and ex-offenders alike.

Last week saw the first National Prison Advisory Board (EAB) Conference attended by leading highways firms Solar Gates UK, Murphy, SRL and Gallagher Group among others. Hosted at Timpsons’ Manchester based training centre, attendees heard real life stories from ex-offenders and the huge differences these second chances make to real people, families, businesses and communities.

The minister took the opportunity to explain to business the win:win of employing ex-offenders in terms of improving recruitment, making communities safer and giving second chances.

As the government roles out the national Employment Advisory Board project to all 91 resettlement prisons in England, employers and employment hubs are being introduced into every prison to streamline the process and reduce the stigma of employment through the prison service.

Neil Sampson, MD at Solar Gate UK explains “Being asked to chair an employment advisory board at a Kent prison is not only an honour, but a very practical way to introduce other Safer Highways members and local businesses to the fantastic outcomes that we have seen over the last 5 years of working with ex-offenders and those in addiction recovery.”

“Our experience of a strong, grateful, and committed staff team, with high staff retention has been the positive side effect of giving second chances. It is fantastic to see this pilot gain government backing and national roll our I would second the Ministers urge for others to get involved” concludes Neil Sampson.