Mosaic launches employability scheme for young Muslim offenders

Mosaic, HRH The Prince of Wales' mentoring initiative for young Muslims from deprived backgrounds, has launched a new scheme to address the high number of Muslim offenders by supporting them back into the workplace.

The cost of reoffending to the taxpayer can be as high as £13bn per year but to make a lasting difference to addressing re-offending, business support is essential. The key way to break the cycle of recidivism is to find ex-offenders employment opportunities. This needs businesses, like Mitie and Roast, to step up to the plate by providing mentors and job opportunities alike.

- Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP,
Justice Secretary
The pilot scheme will provide young Muslim offenders with support from business to gain vital employability skills and mentoring from lage employers, and was launched yesterday by Ruby McGregor Smith, CEO of Mitie in the presence of Justice Secretary, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP. The scheme is a response to the disproprortionate number of Muslims in the British prison population, where they make up 13.4%, against 4.2% of the population in general.

A partnership between Mosaic, which already runs a successful mentoring scheme, and FTSE 100 company Mitie will involve Mitie volunteers delivering employability workshops to young Muslims held in two London prisons.  Mitie will also provide some work placement opportunities to offenders participating in the workshops. Employment is proven to reduce the likelihood of re-offending by up to 50%, but research suggests that Muslim prisoners are not accessing the support they need to successfully integrate into society and employment into release.

Alongside the Mitie partnership, Borough Market's Roast Restaurant and Millwall Football Club have both signed up to provide support for ex-offenders on Mosaic's mentoring schemes.

Backing up its work with offenders, Mosaic is also conducting research with the Prisons Reform Trust and the Woolf Institute, University of Cambridge to explore the reasons for the current disproportionate number of Muslims in prison, and to identify their specific needs.

Mosaic was set up by HRH the Prince of Wales as part of Business in the Community to provide professional role models and mentors to young Muslims form disadvantaged communties.  Its ex-offender programme works with Muslim prisoners aged 18-25 years who are near the end of their custodial sentences. They are offered one-to-one mentoring for a year, which involves wide range practical assistance such as securing housing and employment.

Mosaic was founded by the Prince of Wales in 2007 as a mentoring programme creating opportunities for young people growing up in our most deprived communities.  It was run by Business in the Community until July 2016, when it became part of the Prince's Trust.

- Private group -