“Achieve” is a Ministry Of Justice scheme, to help ex-offenders into work, especially those with additional disadvantages. Participants in the scheme are either on community orders, released on licence, or released from a short sentence.
Greater Manchester Probation is delivering the scheme for the North West region. They are just finishing delivering the first contract and will begin a second one in April 2012.
The scheme has been extremely successful so far despite the economic climate and employer feedback so far is that they appreciate the benefits of giving a chance to an ex-offender, that the employee is grateful to be given that opportunity and they are motivated to give a lot back.
Their experience is that short unpaid “work tasters” and try-outs work well, with the employer often offering a post if all goes well. These offers of posts and jobs are generally at minimum wage level.
There have already been some sub-contracts with voluntary sector providers whose focus is working with offenders.
There are some identified needs gaps for people from BME backgrounds and people over 50. Achieve North West is working with GMCVO on two pilot schemes targeting these groups. The purpose of the pilots is to test whether local voluntary organisations can successfully assist these client groups. Achieve is aware of the work that has already been done by GMCVO to demonstrate the added value brought by local groups to public service delivery. If the pilots are successful GMCVO expect further commissioning.
GMCVO are not necessarily looking for organisations with a specific remit to assist offenders. GMCVO are more interested in those that work with those general client groups i.e. with one or more particular BME communities and/or with older people, and which have the ability to assist them into work.
The requirement is for hard outcomes whether that is evidence of a job offer (minimum 16 hours per week), or of establishing the ex-offender as self employed.
GMCVO are looking for organisations to support a total of 40 people, 20 people from BME backgrounds and 20 people over 50. Organisations should commit to achieving outcomes for between 5 and 10 individuals.
For further details, see below.
If you are interested in taking part, contact Neil Walbran, on 0161 277 1036, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.