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Feature Blog – VGC Group

Today’s blog is a feature piece from VCG Group after our very own Dara McCarthy attended the Infrastructure Employment Forum (IEF) meeting alongside Costain, CSJV, Ministry of Justice & Bounceback to support ex-offenders back into employment!

Please read Kimberly McGinty’s (@KimMcGinty) review of the forum meeting below;

“On Tuesday 16 July VCG presented the Infrastructure Employment Forum to tier 1 contractors and their supply chain.

They are keen to come together to support ex-offenders into sustainable employment. Attendees included representatives from HS2, Keltbray and Thames Tideway.

Loretta Albertini of Shaw Trust
Loretta Albertini

At our presentation we talked about the IEF and what we want to achieve, encouraging others to sign up and support us.

Loretta Albertini, regional manager of the Shaw Trust, talked about the training support they provide, and how their case workers support service users while they are still serving.

Dara McCarthy, RMF Construction national business development manager, told us about RMF’s programme hiring ex-offenders. He explained how they work, and shared inspiring success stories.

We heard from Fran Findlater, CEO of Bounce Back, one of the IEF founding members, who support the IEF with delivering employment programmes. The Ministry of Justice is now supporting us in the different regions, and we also heard from the Emma Wagstaff, MoJ UK lead in construction.

Fran Findlater of BounceBack
Fran Findlater

About the IEF

The IEF was set up in December 2018 between VGC Group, Costain, CSJV and Bounce Back.

A number of us run our own programmes supporting ex-offenders, and found we were attending the same prisons at the same events with exactly the same ethos. We had the idea of coming together as one collaborative unit, to attend these events with lots of roles between us, in order to support as many people as we can.

We brain-stormed what we wanted to achieve, and discussed the pitfalls we have already faced working on our own programmes. Then we decided to bring in other organisations to help those needing further support eg housing support, benefits, training and education, and help with interview clothing.

Now we have the DWP, Dress for Success and also a number of labour suppliers joining the IEF.

The IEF is more than just supporting ex-offenders into employment because your project has targets. It is more than just a tick box. This is creating a new future for an under-represented group. It’s about reducing re-offending for the communities around us. It’s supporting those who would not have been given a chance. We’re helping them get into sustainable employment, and enabling them to carve a career and a different path for themselves.

Currently we are now working on commitments for our members to sign up to. We look forward to creating better futures.”

Please visit the following link to find out more about VGC Group & their ex-offender employment programme: https://vgcgroup.co.uk/careers/supporting-entrants/go-beyond-the-gates/

RMF are inspired by the collective effort of all the employers and partners in the room during the Infrastructure Employment Forum (IEF) who were all dedicated to providing employment opportunities for ex-offenders.

RMF also welcome the working commitments for members to sign up to regarding targets for the employment of ex-offenders and the under-represented within the industry to promote fair representation in the future.

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