VGC reaffirms commitment to helping ex-offenders

VGC has reaffirmed its commitment to helping give ex-offenders a second chance.

The company, which provides people and delivers projects for major infrastructure contractors across the UK, has signed up to a national campaign to help ex-offenders find sustainable mainstream employment.

The campaign asks employers to remove the tick box from job application forms asking about unspent criminal convictions and publicly commit to considering applicants’ skills, experience and ability before asking about criminal convictions.

VGC’s support reaffirms its existing commitment to helping ex-offenders through its ‘go beyond the gates’ programme.

Since starting last year, the programme has supported 704 offenders with five volunteers visiting 15 prisons and 17 ex-offenders being placed into jobs on sites across the UK.

VGC has provided mentoring, mock interviews, careers guidance and employability workshops as well as liaising with clients to identify appropriate roles for offenders as they approach their release date.

The company has also worked with Costain to set up a new working group called the Infrastructure Employment Forum, which aims to create more opportunities for ex-offenders.

As part of its commitment, VGC has also linked up with charities and social enterprise partners including Shaw Trust, Bounce Back, Key4Life, Mind the Gap and A Fairer Chance to understand the issues facing deprived communities.

Ciara Pryce, VGC’s group services director, said: “We are delighted to join the Ban the Box campaign because it clearly mirrors our own work, and our ‘go beyond the gates’ programme.

“Go beyond the gates is part of VGC’s corporate social responsibility strategy and helps us to support some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“By providing opportunities for employment in a structured outdoor environment we help the construction industry tap into a huge labour resource. And diverting someone away from re-offending means they become a tax payer rather than a recipient of tax spending.

“At VGC, we celebrate diversity across the workforce, recognising and encouraging talent and hard work. We refuse to tolerate prejudicial barriers to enrolment and promotion.”