How ex-offenders could provide the answer to Merseyside skills shortages

Social enterprise Novus will bring together training providers and employers in Liverpool this week to discuss how local firms can overcome their challenges in recruiting the right people. Tony McDonough reports

Skills, welder, industry
Many firms in Merseyside are struggling to attract skilled people


Ex-offenders could help fill chronic skills shortage in businesses across the Liverpool city region, a major conference will hear this week.

Hosted by social enterprise Novus, the event on Friday, June 29, at St George’s Hall in Liverpool will bring together training providers and employers to discuss how local firms can overcome their challenges in recruiting the right people.

Research published by City & Guilds and Emsi this month revealed nine out of 10 employers are struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need. As we head towards a change in the labour market following our departure from the EU, there is a growing concern among businesses that this is only likely to get worse.

In Liverpool itself, last year’s Employer Skills Survey by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, highlighted the recruitment difficulties that many employers in the city are facing right now.

It was with this in mind that Novus, which specialises in rehabilitating offenders through training within the prison environment, is hosting the conference to coincide with National Employability Day.

It will give local employers the opportunity to find out how ex-offenders can benefit their business and to widen discussions with those organisations who already support ex-offenders.

Amey and Willmott Dixon are two of the employers who are attending the event to discuss how they are working with ex-offenders.  

Barbara McDonough, chief operating officer for Novus, said: “We work with 66,000 adults and young people in 60 prisons across the UK, providing rehabilitation, training and support to enable offenders to be placed into work when they leave the justice system.

“In the last year we have trained and placed 139 offenders into work placements in the North West alone, specifically into skilled environments such as construction, engineering and manufacturing and transport and logistics.”

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