The Unipart Outstanding Employment Award: Timpson Group

Award Type: 

Finalist for Business in the Community's Unipart Outstanding Employment Award 2019.

Timpson: In-prison skills academies succeeding in cutting reoffending rates
Timpson believes in giving people a second chance. The high-street key-cutting, dry cleaners, and shoe and watch repair business thinks it is madness to throw a large section of society on the employment scrapheap just because of their background. The Timpson Foundation recruits and trains marginalised groups, giving them the full range of skills needed for long-term employment within its industry. It was a programme originally designed to help ex-offenders but is now being expanded to help other groups.
 
Timpson offers in-prison training academies, work experience for ex-offenders and for inmates on release on temporary licence and an apprenticeship scheme. The aim: to give jobs to marginalised groups, and to help cut the rate of re-offending – something that costs UK taxpayers about £11 billion a year1 – by giving ex-offenders confidence, practical and emotional support, technical skills and a means of earning a decent living.
 
The business lends staff their rent deposit and gives them money for clothes, helping to get a basic standard of living for their first weeks in work. The retention rate for staff who have joined the business from prison or who have a criminal conviction is about 75%. It is a corporate strategy that has garnered much positive feedback from customers and a source of pride for staff.
 
The company has saved about £100,000 a year in recruitment agency fees. It costs about £15,000 to train a new apprentice – and the higher retention rates of those that have passed through the foundation saves the business £300,000 a year in training new staff.
 
References
1. Source: National Audit Office (2010) Managing offenders on short custodial sentences. Available at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/0910431.pdf
 
Unless otherwise stated information in this impact story has been supplied by Timpson.