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London Business Matters

How education is transforming prisoners’ lives Novus, part of LTE group, is the UK leader and innovator in offender education, skills and employability interventions that reduce reoffending and divert people from criminal behaviour, allowing them to make a positive contribution to society. THE organisastion, a not-forprofit social enterprise and the biggest provider of its kind in the UK, currently delivers in 64 custodial and community sites across England, working with employers including Virgin Trains, The Pret Foundation and Barclays, and educating 65,000 offenders annually. Providing its learners with the skills, qualifications and knowledge needed to get a job when they are released, and seeing them thrive in their post-prison lives, is what makes Novus tick. In London, Novus is taking forward an integrated regional approach to improving the volume and quality of contacts between the prison service, Novus, partners and employers in the region, in order to increase the number of offenders who find work. Working with employers will improve offenders’ prospects in the job market - ensuring that Novus courses are relevant to employers’ needs, and overcoming employers’ resistance to employing exoffenders. It will contribute directly to reducing re-offending, and will benefit the offender, offenders’ families, and the communities to which they return. Chris Horton, Director of Operations for Novus, said: “We have seen some wonderful employment outcomes for our learners, from which we take great encouragement. They galvanise us to help even more people to find a job upon release and thrive in the world of work, which reduces reoffending and makes for a safer society. “We have formed very strong links with the catering industry that offer employment opportunities for our learners on Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) or release. These include restaurants, bakeries, catering companies, coffee firms, cafes, pubs and market stalls.” Novus works closely with Bad Boys Bakery and there has been Chris Horton, Director of Operations at Novus, pictured collecting the Eric Hill Memorial Award from the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners at the ceremony in London. Novus was given the award due to the large amount of learners who gained cleaning qualifications. some excellent partnership work with London caterer The Social Pantry, led by entrepreneur Alex Head, and charity Key4Life, in supporting learners at HMP Brixton who are on ROTL. Novus equips learners with the right tools to meet the needs of employers - including completing elements of frameworks – which perfectly positions them for an Apprenticeship. The organisation’s employment brokers nurture and develop the relationship between the employer, candidate and prison to support this outcome. Positive relationships with some of the biggest businesses in the UK have helped many learners secure prominent positions. Mr Horton added: “During our 25 years in the justice sector we have worked with many prisoners who begin their sentences having had absolutely no education. Even those who are fully committed to being rehabilitated come up against obstacles on the path to a crime-free future. However, I firmly believe the government’s new Apprenticeship Pathway is about to set offenders on the road to success. “We have been calling for Apprenticeships to be made available to offenders for some time, so we were delighted with the introduction of the pathway and look forward to further influencing the development of the government’s vision.” Novus has established a relationship with Wandsworth Council for the recruitment of 18 to 30-year-olds for construction Apprenticeships for the Nine Elms Project. Metroline has also committed to working with Novus to enable offenders to access their vacancies. Novus is also working on Apprenticeship links with a bakery for people aged 18-24 to learn a trade, and its work with the Pret Foundation has led to the placement of offenders in the Pret internal Apprenticeship programme. Mr Horton continued: “We recently received a thank you from one of our former learners from HMP Send. Our new partnership with highways service provider CVU got her back into work when she was released. She became a valued member of the Highways and Maintenance team after being given a three-month contract, which is likely to lead to a full-time position in February.” i Novus, One Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester M40 5BP +44 (0)161 918 6879 enquiries@novus.ac.uk www.novus.ac.uk “We have been calling for Apprenticeships to be made available to offenders for some time, so we were delighted with the introduction of the pathway and look forward to further influencing the development of the government’s vision.” ADVERTORIAL


London Business Matters
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