Interserve Press Office | May 08, 2017
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, together with its supply chain, will seek to make a lasting difference to the employment prospects of ex-offenders by opening up thousands of opportunities through the ‘Ban the Box’ initiative. The company will work with 20 of its key suppliers, with a combined workforce of 40,000, to support them in signing up to Ban the Box, having already done so across its own 50,000 UK roles and vacancies. Interserve will work in partnership with its suppliers to raise awareness and generate real momentum behind an important initiative that needs more visibility.
Ban the Box is a campaign driven by Business in the Community (BITC), a charity that works with businesses to help tackle some of the key issues facing society. Interserve signed up to Ban the Box in 2014, removing the unspent convictions ‘tick box’ on application forms for its 50,000 UK roles. It is now taking the message about what Ban the Box is, and what it means, out into its supply chain. By working collaboratively with partners and suppliers to raise awareness around Ban the Box, the company aims to make thousands of job opportunities more accessible to ex-offenders, contributing to BITC’s pledge to open up one million job opportunities by 2020.
The Ban the Box initiative aims to give people with criminal convictions a second chance at fulfilling their potential to become valued employees. Interserve was one of the earliest adopters of Ban the Box and has already raised awareness of the initiative with 120 of its suppliers, encouraging them to sign up wherever possible.
Adrian Ringrose, Interserve’s Chief Executive, said:
“As a large employer, we know that one of the biggest impacts we have is creating skills and opportunities in the communities where we work. Ban the Box is an important way in which we can extend this commitment to people who we know struggle to get into work and to get that second chance. As part of our extensive ‘Opportunities for All’ campaign, we want our supply chain partners to join us, by removing the unspent convictions ‘tick box’ on all application forms, wherever they can.
“We would also like to see the new government really back Ban the Box, helping to remove one of the first barriers many ex-offenders face when seeking employment.”
Catherine Sermon, Employment Director at Business in the Community, said:
“Ban the Box is not simply a process change and Interserve understands this. The company is embedding a culture of diversity and inclusion, first within its own business, and now through its supply chain. In doing so, it has demonstrated strong leadership and made a valuable contribution to our target of opening up one million jobs through Ban the Box by 2020.”
This is not a niche issue, as according to Government data over 10 million people in the UK have a criminal record. The latest data (2014) from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), showed that 28 per cent of Jobseeker’s Allowance claims are made by people with a criminal conviction. BITC research has also demonstrated that 71 per cent of people with convictions think that ticking ‘yes’ to a question about convictions would affect their chances of getting the job.
Interserve’s ‘Opportunities for All’ campaign, which is launching today, will focus on how businesses can provide ex-offenders with the skills and employment opportunities that will help to turn their lives around. The campaign will highlight the good work taking place and call for more to be done. This is a challenge Interserve has worked collaboratively towards for some time, being an early adopter of Ban the Box, working directly with prisons and providing probation services as part of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme.
As well as continuing to work with BITC to raise awareness of Ban the Box, Interserve plans to run events focussed on promoting the benefits of employing ex-offenders throughout the course of the campaign.
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For further information about Interserve, please contact:
Group head of PR
0118 960 2285
0203 219 8816
Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies. Our vision is to redefine the future for people and places. Everything we do is shaped by our core values. We are a successful, growing, international business: a leader in innovative and sustainable outcomes for our clients and a great place to work for our people. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment, facilities management and frontline public services. Headquartered in the UK and FTSE listed, we have gross revenues of £3.7 billion and a workforce of circa 80,000 people worldwide.
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About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. Our members work together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future. We are a business-led, issue focused charity with more than 30 years’ experience of mobilising business. We engage thousands of businesses through our programmes driven by our core membership of over 700 organisations from small enterprises to global corporations. www.bitc.org.uk
About Ban the Box
Ban the Box originated in the USA, led by the National Employment Law Project, and focused on changing legislation at a local and state-level to ensure that City Councils and those that hold contracts with them do not request criminal conviction information at the point of application.
Ban the Box UK is part of Business in the Community’s wider programme of work engaging business to reducing reoffending through employment. It was launched in the UK in October 2013 with a focus on encouraging employers to make a simple change to their recruitment practice and remove the criminal record tick box.
To date, 78 employers with a combined workforce of 710,000 have signed up to the campaign, including the entire civil service after former Prime Minster David Cameron announced his support during a speech in February 2016. As a business-led charity, Business in the Community believes that UK employers can choose to make positive changes to their recruitment processes without the need for a change in government legislation.