Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK Aeneid Project: Employer-focussed initiative to increase & improve opportunities for those with criminal records

16th March 2017

Nacro is a social justice charity that helps the most vulnerable in the community to change their lives, and reach their full potential and aspirations. They do this by addressing social exclusion, inequality of opportunity and deprivation.

In October 2015, Nacro launched the Aeneid Project, an ambitious and unique employer-focused initiative. It aims to strengthen communities and positively change individuals’ lives at the same time as addressing employers’ chronic skills shortages.

The Aeneid Project works in partnership with key stakeholders to increase and improve the education, training and employment opportunities for work ready and motivated members of the local community who have criminal records. It also works to upskill practitioners, such as probation officers and work coaches, and to provide local employers, educational establishments and other organisations with the required resources, support and expert training they need to confidently recruit safely and fairly from the potential talent pool of approximately 10 million people in the UK who have criminal records.

How Aeneid works:

  • Nacro delivers workshop sessions on recruiting safely and fairly at employer events, breakfast briefings and business seminars;
  • They attend key meetings with relevant stakeholders to devise and implement local, regional and national strategies with the aim of raising awareness and involvement in the project and the focused support that can be accessed from the Employer Advice Service;
  • Nacro delivers, in partnership with specialists, a tailored training programme for ex-offenders which supports them to move forward towards economic self-sufficiency;
  • They also offers free, one-day training workshops in safer recruitment for local employers, safer admissions for colleges and universities, and criminal record disclosure for practitioners.

The Aeneid Project has been successfully delivered in Luton, Bedford and St Albans, and is expanding to Manchester and other areas in 2017.

Read about the project here.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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