Last week, I announced I would create more opportunities to give people a second chance when applying for jobs.
I have become the first Police and Crime Commissioner and public sector organisation in the West Midlands to ‘Ban the Box’ which allows those with previous convictions to be fairly considered for jobs.
Whilst this doesn’t guarantee ex-offenders a job, candidates applying for roles in my office will now be assessed on their ability, rather than their history.
Ban the Box removes the ‘check box’ which asks if applicants have a criminal record, creating more opportunities for ex-offenders and ensure they aren’t stigmatised by an application form. Everyone is still vetted at the end of the process and could be ruled out for certain offences.
And tax-payers will benefit to.
More than 125 employers, including the Civil Service, Timpson and Virgin Trains are creating a fair chance for ex-offenders, helping bring down the £15 billion a year cost of reoffending – turning people who are burdens on the tax system into tax payers.
Having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50%.I am offering people a chance to turn their lives around while helping to keep communities safer.
Three quarters of employers admit to discriminating against applicants with a criminal conviction, excluding people from roles for which they may be qualified and capable of doing.
The tick box tells them you won’t give them a chance.
My office has a history of supporting ex-offenders, providing placements to give people another chance.
Giving a second chance to those who may committed a crime, will help to break the cycle of crime and reduce the chance of re-offending.
Employers can play a vital role in keeping people out of prison while gaining access to a large and diverse talent pool.
We all have a responsibility to reduce crime and I will be continuing to call on businesses and other employers to do the same.
We know that being in work reduces the chance of re-offending considerably, which is why I am supporting this campaign. Less re-offending means fewer victims too.
I urge other organisations to follow our lead and take a positive contribution to communities and wider society.
Ban the Box provides a simple step all employers can take. Don’t let a tick box put off potential talent!
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson