'Landmark' event to be held at Peterborough prison to help ex-offenders into the workplace
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Peterborough prison will be the setting for a landmark event to encourage city businesses to recruit former inmates.
Employers have been invited to a Thinking Outside The Box event at HMP Peterborough, in Saville Road, to hear about the benefits of recruiting ex-offenders and supporting their rehabilitation.
About 100 business people are expected to attend the function which has been organised by Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce and is being sponsored by Peterborough-based recruitment company, Anne Corder Recruitment.
It will present company bosses and HR representatives with a unique chance to visit the prison and hear first-hand the benefits of doing so.
Speakers from companies that have recruited ex-offenders through HMP Peterborough will share their experience, and staff at the prison itself will give attendees knowledge and background of the process.
The networking event will take place on March 1 and will include a lunch served to the delegates and assisted by inmates.
Nel Woolcott, managing director of Anne Corder Recruitment, said: “This is very much a landmark event.
"Businesses are working collaboratively to break down barriers and stigmas and to look at some of the recruitment challenges we all face locally and regionally.
"We are very excited to be sponsoring this event, which will inevitably showcase some fascinating talks and interesting debates while focusing on getting some of those who society may deem as unemployable back into the world of work.”
A Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said: “Recruitment challenges were faced amongst many sectors in 2023, and look to continue in 2024.
"This event will give an insight into options that may help.”
The initiative has been launched as businesses in Peterborough struggle to fill a growing number of job vacancies.
Peterborough Jobcentre staff say they currently have 662 vacancies with companies from logistics to accounting.
Last month, the Peterborough Community Business Awards were launched to recognise those businesses which give disadvantaged people, including ex-offenders a second chance.