M4 worker anonymousEx-offenders who find jobs are much less likely to reoffend.

And they say the programme has helped them turn their lives around.

Ex-offender A says:

“Three months before my release date [CSR manager] Kimberley McGinty from VGC Group approached me from a careers event that took place…. I took her number down and upon my release I contacted her, and she put me in touch with James Andrews, and I started on the project as a plant vehicle marshal. “This opportunity has changed my life and allowed me to put the past behind me and concentrate on my future, I just want to thank Kim, James [Andrews, labour manager] and VGC for allowing me to move on in my life and supporting me throughout the process. I have been promoted on the project to ground worker and have learned many new skills to further develop my career.”

Ex-offender B says:

“I came out of prison on a Monday and by Wednesday had a start on my first ever motorway job…. “It’s been 2 years since I started [on a motorway] as a labourer and I’m now a supervisor on a smart motorway project. I can honestly say I’ve achieved more than I ever had before being in prison, I’ve got a nice car and in the process of buying a house with my family. James Andrews, VGC, and the senior management on the job I’m working on have been nothing but supportive the whole time. “Everything’s worked out far better than I could have ever imagined: not bad for signing onto a course just to get me out of the cell. “It changed my life for the better and I’d suggest it to anyone who feels like they don’t have any options because VGC will always give you a chance no matter what your circumstances are. If you’re willing to work and learn they will back you 100% of the way.”

We are working with Balfour Beatty Vinci on the M4 smart motorway upgrade on behalf of Highways England.

BBV JV wants to benefit the communities near the motorway project, and aims to maximise social value wherever possible.

A BBV spokesperson said: “VGC Group’s Go Beyond the Gates programme is an excellent example of how social value helps strengthen communities and livelihoods. It helps support ex-offenders into sustainable employment, and helps break the cycle of unemployment, homelessness and re-offending.

“Reoffending costs the UK economy £15 billion a year, and so by bettering the livelihoods of individuals, we can also support the UK economy… resulting in genuine social value.”

A breath of fresh air

“Too often, employers shy away from taking a chance on ex-offenders because they think the risks outweigh the potential gains….

“The attitude displayed by organisations towards ex-offenders and their dedication to getting the right people – no matter who they are – to work for them is a breath of fresh air.”

The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, at the first anniversary of Mind the Gap, House of Commons, 21 May 2018