Interserve pledges to open up thousands of job opportunities for ex-offenders

Leading Facilities Management company, Interserve, encourages its suppliers to break down barriers to work for people with convictions.

Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has pledged to open up thousands of roles in its supply chain to ex-offenders by encouraging 20 of its key suppliers, with a combined workforce of 40,000, to sign up to Business in the Community’s Ban the Box campaign by 2020.

The pledge forms part of its new ‘Opportunities for All’ campaign, which highlights how businesses can provide ex-offenders with the skills and employment opportunities that will help to turn their lives around.

Interserve signed up to Ban the Box in 2014 removing the unspent convictions ‘tick box’ on all application forms for its 50,000 UK roles. Since then it has taken a number of steps to support people with convictions into employment, including piloting a Facilities Management Academy within HMP Brinsford to train and prepare young prisoners for a job with Interserve once they are released.

It is now extending its impact further by encouraging its supply chain to join the Ban the Box campaign. In doing so, it aims to make thousands of job opportunities more accessible to ex-offenders, helping BITC to reach its target of opening up 1 million job opportunities by 2020.

Adrian Ringrose, Interserve’s Chief Executive, said:

“As a large employer we know that one of the biggest impacts we have is creating skills and opportunities in the communities where we work. Ban the Box is an important way in which we can extend this commitment to people who we know struggle to get into work and to get that second chance. 

As part of our extensive ‘Opportunities for All’ campaign, we want our supply chain partners to join us and remove the unspent convictions ‘tick box’ on all application forms wherever they can. We would also like to see the new government really back Ban the Box, helping to remove one of the first barriers many ex-offenders face when seeking employment."

Catherine Sermon, Employment Director at Business in the Community, said:

“Ban the Box is not simply a process change and Interserve understands this. The company is embedding a culture of diversity and inclusion, first within its own business, and now through its supply chain. In doing so, it has demonstrated strong leadership and made a valuable contribution to our target of opening up 1 million jobs through Ban the Box by 2020.”

Since the campaign launched in 2013, 78 employers with a combined workforce of 710,000, have signed up to the campaign and taken the first step to reduce reoffending.