Resettlement Fair for prisoners nearing end of sentence, hosted at Thameside

In Late January, HMP Thameside held their Resettlement Fair which saw an attendance of over fifteen different companies and support charities.

HMP Thameside, a category B remand prison in south-east London, is managed by Serco on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

The purpose of the fair was to raise the awareness among prisoners who are nearing their release date about organisations who are prepared to recruit ex-offenders as well as support charities aimed at helping ex-offenders improve their employability skill for future careers.

The fair was held in Thameside’s sports hall was structured similar to that of a typical jobs fair. Attending prisoners would arrive with a copy of their CV and talk to the attending representatives.  

There was a diverse range of different attending organizations and included rail and construction companies such as VGC, Mace Dragados, Ariston Developments, Murphy Group and Costain Skanska many of which have involvement with the ongoing HS2 project.

The fair also saw an attendance of both large and small charities that provide education and support to ex-offenders in finding work.  These included the Bounce Back Project, After The Military, The Prince’s Trust, Nacro, Peer Circles, Only Connect, Cleansheet, as well as Thameside’s colleagues, Novus and Catch22, who also provide services in education and offender management.

Many local London businesses also attended including Reliable Contractors, K&M Mcloughlin Decorating, Youngs Group.

Serco also made an attendance too, with Serco Job’s Coordinator, Maree Rowsome, bringing in members of the Serco’s HR Team to talk to prisoners about the Guaranteed interview scheme. This scheme was launched last year under which any applicant who declares that they have a criminal conviction will be given a job interview, provided that they meet the minimum criteria for the job and must pass screening and vetting criteria needed to conduct the role.

Resettlement Fairs such as these are examples where businesses and organisations can find employees with untapped talent and potential as well as providing ex-offenders with a path to a stable job, a vital part in reducing the reoffending rates amongst for people who’ve served their sentence.