Four stages of Go beyond the gates
Go beyond the gates works in four stages.
We connect with charities and social enterprise partners including BounceBack, MindTheGap, Key4Life, A Fairer Chance and Shaw Trust. They have helped us to understand the issues facing certain communities in deprived areas, like knife crime, and county lines. It is important that our teams understand the social context of candidates and the challenges they face.
CSR manager Kimberley McGinty and our labour managers attend employability events run in prisons – including HMP Brixton and HMP Norwich – and for probation services. They meet candidates and listen to their stories, experiences and aspirations.
If candidates want to be considered for a career in construction, we work with our partners to identify the type of mentoring that would be most helpful to them. We also arrange any extra support they may need before and after release.
We liaise with our clients who support the ex-offenders programme to identify suitable roles. As offenders approach their release date, we match them to job opportunities.
Ex-offenders who are released on temporary licence (ROTL) have the opportunity to gain work experience in a supported environment. They are able to keep a percentage of their wages to help them with a new start when they are fully released. For them, we work with the local prisons to handle practical considerations including curfew, transport and other restrictions.
Upon release, the candidates become VGC workers, with all the benefits of market rates of pay, holiday pay, pension contributions, and personal insurances. Only their mentors know their history; to everyone else, they’re just one of the team.