Re-offending costs the UK £13 billion a year, and 60% of prisoners re-offend within two years of being released. And while it’s well-established that a stable job reduces the chances of re-offending by half (by far the most effective intervention), 75% of ex-offenders are unemployed on release.
Blue Sky is a social enterprise which takes on contracts from the public and private sectors and only employs ex-offenders to carry them out. It works in a variety of fields, including waste management, recycling, grounds maintenance, logistics, catering and leisure.
The ex-offenders employed by Blue Sky receive full-time paid employment for six months, and no qualifications are needed to get started. Throughout those six months, employees can benefit from mentoring, housing loans, further specific training and a brokerage service for full-time work after the contract ends.
Since 2005, only 15% of the 1,000 ex-offenders employed by Blue Sky have re-offended – a quarter of the national average. Almost half gain sustained employment after their six months, and over half leave with an accredited qualification.