MITIE Group plc and Mosaic are collaborating on a new ex-offender mentorship programme that has been welcomed by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
The signing of an agreement between MITIE – the FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company – and Mosaic (HRH The Prince of Wales’ mentoring charity) witnesses the dawn of a new partnership that will directly support ex-offenders.
The partnership will provide ex-offenders with important transferable skills, experience and mentorship through a series of workshops and training programmes that ultimately lead to a work placement within MITIE Group plc.
Taking place at HMP Isis, these workshops will concentrate on activities that help individuals to improve their skills and abilities in networking, presentation and communication and also build their confidence levels.
The programme is overseen by the MITIE Foundation, MITIE’s charitable arm. It builds on the MITIE Foundation’s Ready2Work scheme, an eight-week, on-the-job work experience programme that involves individuals working with MITIE or its clients and partners and which has already succeeded in placing more than 70% of candidates into employment.
Making a positive contribution to society
Commenting on the new programme, Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE – CEO of MITIE Group plc and trustee of the MITIE Foundation – explained: “The MITIE Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds such that they can join the world of work. We want to raise aspirations and unlock people’s true potential. We’re delighted to be able to support Mosaic’s efforts in helping those who wish to turn their back on previous criminal activity, return to the workplace and make a positive contribution to society at large.”
Jonathan Freeman, managing director of Mosaic, added: “The re-offending rate for short-term prisoners stands at around 60% yet the likelihood of re-offending can be cut by up to 50% if an offender leaves prison with secured accommodation and employment. Providing mentoring support to ex-offenders can make a significant contribution towards stemming the rising disproportionate number of Muslims in the prison system. I wish everyone involved with this latest project much success.”
Mosaic’s Young Ex-Offenders Mentoring Programme provides one-to-one mentoring support for those making the difficult transition from prison back to their communities. It provides focused support and mentoring opportunities to prisoners aged between 18 and 35 years old who are approaching the end of their custodial sentence.
In practice, Mosaic’s trained mentors meet prisoners three-to-six months before release to establish a long-lasting relationship which continues into the community integration phase. Mentors offer wide-ranging practical assistance, including helping prisoners to secure housing and employment. With these vital support structures in place, the likelihood of re-offending in the future is significantly reduced.
The programme involves a one-to-one mentoring relationship for 12 months, with an approximate commitment of one-to-two hours per month. Mosaic provides full training for mentors which runs over an entire weekend. Training is used both as a means of selection and as a way of imparting information.