Finding talent is one of the biggest challenges facing employers today. When over 20% of the working population has a criminal record, businesses cannot afford to ignore such a significant talent pool.
Reoffending rates are high and cost society around £15 billion a year. This is in addition to the economic costs of preventing talented candidates from competing for work and becoming productive members of society.
75% of employers surveyed by Working Links said they would discriminate against a candidate if they disclosed a criminal conviction.
Employment is widely considered to be the most important factor in reducing reoffending, but it's often not accessible to people with a criminal conviction because many employers have an exaggerated fear of hiring ex-offenders.
Smart employers recognise the skills and talent ex-offenders can bring to the workplace and have taken steps to reduce the barriers to employment for people with convictions. In doing so, they are seeing a number of business benefits, whilst also having a positive impact on the local communties in which they work.