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Few educational projects work with ex-offenders to encourage them to take up education and enabling them to focus on their academic and skills development at a low cost or free of charge. Projects should be used as models upon which service providers can draw upon the relevant training and vocational qualifications which can support with employment that ex-offenders need. Successful projects and programmes should enable ex-offenders that are unable to receive an education and use the skills and knowledge obtained to secure employment in the future. We aim to work with young Muslim offenders to stabilise their lives and help them back into education. The service will be designed to provide support and advice to young people on issues which affect their lives and to help them progress. Step Change Skills for Work Programme

Basic Skills help people leaving custody to resettle successfully in the community. It equips them with a route back into training and employment through training programmes and accredited schemes. The scheme will be designed to give people confidence in basic numeracy and literacy and be able to access vocational courses to help their employment prospects.

Employment and work placement opportunities:

A job provides: structured time; an income; the opportunity for a new outlook and new relationships; a legitimate identity; ambitions and goals; and financial security. It also gives those who have turned their back on crime the chance to give something back to their community. Employment can also help reduce the risk of reoffending for some people, which means less crime for the rest of us. A majority of the ex-offenders are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment. They believe this is due to having to complete the criminal record disclosure on most job applications, following which, despite being told that they will not be discriminated against because of prior convictions, they are refused a job. On the other hand, when Muslim ex-offenders are approached by agencies with information on potential jobs, they find that the work is not in line with their faith or cultural values and either have to turn the job down or forsake their values and belief system. There is a particular need to improve ex-offenders’ access to, and ability to sustain, high-quality employment characterised by progressively increasing skills, responsibility and rewards. Statutory, voluntary and community services, where appropriate, should encourage businesses and draw on existing partnerships to offer work experience and employment opportunities for ex-offenders. We aim to look for job opportunities for these ex-offenders which can easily reduce the risk of them offending again. We also aim to equip ex-offenders with the skills they need to become a mechanic and offers access to a wide range of skill programmes so that they can do their own work on self-employed basis.

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