After the preliminary round of voting, London Construction Awards’ independent panel of judges has shortlisted VGC in two categories.
We are proud to be shortlisted for the Diversity and Inclusion award. Kimberley McGinty is shortlisted for ‘Employee of the Year’.
The shortlisting acknowledges the success of our go beyond the gates programme to support ex-offenders into sustainable employment. Finding work for offenders near to release helps to break the cycle of unemployment, homelessness and reoffending.
The programme, led by skills and employment adviser Kimberley McGinty, started in March 2018. By August this year, we had supported 633 offenders, with five volunteers visiting 12 prisons. We have now employed 17 ex-offenders on sites across the UK.
Go beyond the gates
Go beyond the gates supports candidates to gain the skills to establish themselves upon release. Trained mentors support them for as long as they need help to cope in their new environment. Their histories are known only to the people responsible for their welfare – to everyone else, they are one of the VGC team.
Overall statistics show that 60% of short-term prisoners re-offend within a year of release. Diverting a person away from re-offending saves £42,000 per adult per year on prison costs, as well as other costs including to the victims of crime. To date go beyond the gates candidates have a 0% re-offending rate.
We work in partnership with Key4Life, Shaw Trust, A Fairer Chance, BounceBack, Mind the Gap and Elite Project Services on the programme. In addition, VGC is a founder member of the Infrastructure Employment Forum, a group of construction companies working together to support ex-offenders into construction careers.
BounceBack’s resettlement manager said: “Thanks to VGC’s ‘go beyond the gates’ programme, we have been able to support our service users with employability skills, training and ultimately supporting them into sustainable employment within the construction industry. We look forward to a long relationship in helping underrepresented groups back into work.”
The judges were so impressed by Kimberley’s work on the project that they shortlisted her for the ‘Employee of the Year’ award.
About the awards
The London Construction Awards recognise achievements, developments and innovation within London’s construction industry. The 2019 awards have had more than double the number of entries from 2018.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on 27 November hosted by impressionist Alistair McGowan.