Second Chances: KPMG Pioneers a New Era of Inclusive Employment, hiring ex-offender

0
KPMG’s decision to back Downing Street’s call for Britain’s biggest organisations to recruit prison leavers is a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. The company has successfully employed its first cohort of prison leavers in a range of roles, including technology development. Now, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), KPMG is encouraging other big-name businesses to follow suit.
Second Chances: KPMG Pioneers a New Era of Inclusive Employment, hiring ex-offender

In a groundbreaking move, KPMG, one of the ‘Big Four’ professional services firms, has become the first white-collar British business to employ ex-offenders. This initiative is part of a new government partnership aimed at reducing reoffending and growing the economy.

 

KPMG’s decision to back Downing Street’s call for Britain’s biggest organisations to recruit prison leavers is a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. The company has successfully employed its first cohort of prison leavers in a range of roles, including technology development. Now, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), KPMG is encouraging other big-name businesses to follow suit.

 

The MoJ believes that this recruitment drive will not only help fill some of the estimated one million vacancies in the UK job market but also contribute to the economy’s growth. More importantly, it will provide former offenders with stable employment, keeping them on the straight and narrow and reducing the £18 billion annual cost of reoffending.

 

Jon Holt, KPMG UK’s Chief Executive, said, “Our longstanding focus on social mobility is about giving everyone – regardless of their background – the chance to succeed. I believe reformed prison leavers should be no exception.”

 

KPMG’s initiative, known as the New Futures pilot, builds on the company’s existing support through mentoring and skills workshops. It also includes a Redemption Roasters coffee shop in their head office, further demonstrating the company’s commitment to helping prison leavers turn their lives around.

 

Prisons and Probation Minister Ed Argar praised the initiative, saying, “Our drive to get ex-offenders into employment is not only cutting crime and reoffending, but is also growing the economy as part of our long-term plan for growth.”

 

The latest figures show that the proportion of ex-offenders who have been successfully steered into jobs within six months has more than doubled in the two years since April 2021. Furthermore, prison leavers in full-time employment are roughly 10 percentage points less likely to re-offend when released. More than 90 percent of surveyed businesses that employ prisoners report that they are motivated, have good attendance, and are trustworthy.

 

Reflecting on his own journey after prison, a KPMG UK employee and ex-offender said, “It was rejection after rejection, businesses never looked beyond my criminal record. It felt quite belittling because no one’s looking at your skills and experience – that generates a lot of anger and frustration, it was very tempting to give up.”

 

He added, “KPMG’s pilot programme wasn’t just refreshing to see, it’s a lifeline that gave me hope. To get a job at KPMG – it’s a miracle. It put me on the right path. I could have gone down a totally different path, but now I’m putting the past behind me and have a bright future. That’s all thanks to KPMG giving me a chance.”

 

This latest recruitment campaign follows a range of measures introduced by the government to upskill and educate prisoners as part of a major effort to secure them employment on release from prison.

 

Tom Cornell, Senior I/O Psychology Consultant at HireVue, advocates for a ‘skills-first’ approach to hiring, which he believes is a much fairer way of assessing a candidate’s potential ability. He says, “Organisations must focus on the skills that are actually needed in order to thrive in an organisation and role, and assess those in a fair and objective manner.”

 

Research shows that one in six people in the UK have a criminal conviction, yet prison leavers continue to be one of the biggest underrepresented groups when it comes to diversity in the workplace. This is primarily due to biases and stigmas surrounding the type of person they are likely to be.

 

However, prison leave can bolster your business in an incredible way. Ex-offenders have a unique set of qualities and skillsets that might not be seen in any other marginalised group. They often exhibit strong loyalty and dedication to an employer, often being motivated to prove themselves through productivity.

 

From a societal perspective, they are less likely to re-offend when they are in a stable job and have an income and purpose. This might not directly be beneficial to employers, but from a D&I and ESG point of view, being an organization that’s aware of their social impact can be beneficial to your brand.

 

Above all, giving ex-offenders a chance during the hiring process is real diversity and inclusion. If employers truly believe in equal opportunities, it makes sense to foster an environment that has a commitment to equality, without bias, in the hiring process.

 

Overall, there are many reasons why employers might be tempted to hire ex-offenders. Despite biases and prejudices that many employers clearly have, the reality is that ex-convicts can be beneficial to your business by bringing about increased levels of commitment and productivity.

 

Beyond this, and potentially most importantly, to be truly inclusive in a hiring process, employers must also consider the applications of those ex-offenders and not let their own prejudices or misconceptions dictate whether they exclude someone from the hiring process altogether. This initiative by KPMG is a step in the right direction, setting a precedent for other businesses to follow.

Stay tuned, to PropleManager.co.in for further updates on the evolving workplace paradigm. 

 

Value our content… contribute towards our growth. Even a small contribution per month would be of great help to us. Since our establishment, we have been serving the industry through daily news and updates.

Our content is free for all, and we plan to keep it that way

Support the People Manager. Pay Here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.