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KPMG Takes Bold Step in Crime Reduction by Hiring Former Prisoners

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KPMG Takes Bold Step in Crime Reduction by Hiring Former Prisoners

One of Britain’s Big Four accountancy firms is hiring former prisoners as part of the Government’s push to cut reoffending rates.

KPMG UK has emerged as the first white-collar business to take on ex-offenders after joining a new scheme led by the Ministry of Justice.

Underpinning the initiative is a push by the Government to get more companies recruiting former convicts amid an overcrowding crisis at British prisons.

The professional services giant has already recruited its first group of former prisoners, who have joined a range of positions, including its technology department.

It is now working with the Ministry of Justice to encourage other major businesses to join the recruitment drive.

A current KPMG employee and ex-offender described the auditor’s programme as a “lifeline”.

He said: “It was rejection after rejection, businesses never looked beyond my criminal record. It felt quite belittling because no one’s looking at your skills and experience – that generates a lot of anger and frustration, it was very tempting to give up.”

According to the Ministry of Justice, prison leavers in full-time employment are 10pc less likely to re-offend after they’ve been released.

Research also found that more than 90pc of surveyed businesses who employ former prisoners describe them as being motivated, trustworthy and having good attendance, the department added.

Ed Argar, prisoners and probation minister, said: “We’re helping prisoners kick-start law-abiding lives, which makes our streets safer and provides businesses with the staff they need to boost the British economy.”

The announcement comes after KPMG UK recently opened a Redemption Roasters cafe, a coffee chain which offers jobs and barista training to current and former offenders, at its London headquarters.

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Jon Holt, chief executive of KPMG UK, said: “Our longstanding focus on social mobility is about giving everyone – regardless of their background – the chance to succeed. I believe reformed prison leavers should be no exception.”

The new recruitment campaign follows the Government’s existing efforts to help convicts find jobs after being released.

The Government previously launched the New Futures Network, a specialist employment team within the HM Prison and Probation Service, which now works with UK business leaders to help offenders gain the skills, qualifications and training to reenter the workforce.

 

Source: Telegraph

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