Skip to main content

Supporting Ex-Offenders into Work

Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 2 February 2021

We know that offenders are 9% less likely to reoffend if they have a job, which is why we are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to increase the number of work coaches to ensure that ex-offenders have the support they need to enter into the workplace. That is in addition to the work that we are doing in the Ministry of Justice to build up the New Futures Network, which continues to broker partnerships between prisons and employers to improve employment opportunities for prisoners and prison leavers.

Getting information and opportunities to prison leavers as early as possible is key to helping them to build a new life on the outside, so does the Minister agree that the Government’s excellent kickstart programme should be available to suitable offenders under the age of 25, and that ideally they need to get connected to the scheme before they leave the care of the Prison Service?

I absolutely agree. It is appropriate that the work programmes that are available in the community are available to prison leavers. That is why I am working closely with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on this issue, including by delivering on our manifesto commitment to increase the number of prison work coaches, who will further support prison leavers. It is those work coaches who will enable us to connect to those long-term Government programmes.