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Making a difference to real lives

The Bounce Back charity provides skills training to prisoners, giving a route back into mainstream society while also addressing the skills shortage in construction. This is the first in a series of blogs in which we explore this fantastic organisation.

Bounce Back is an inspirational social enterprise. The charity works in prisons and in the community with recently released learners, providing practical skills training in painting and decorating, drylining and scaffolding. All of which are sectors that are chronically short of skilled tradespeople.

 

Knauf and our distribution partner Encon Insulation & Nevill Long are enthusiastic supporters of this vibrant organisation and have been working together to provide both products and technical support to the charity since 2015. Together we have provided the materials to build the training centres and continue to support the charity in every way possible.

 

Bounce Back relies on its industry partners for support and demand for its service is growing year on year. The first dedicated training centre was opened in HMP Brixton and there are now training facilities in a further five prisons across the country.

 

The charity also works within the community, recognising that recently released prisoners are often marginalised and the right support at the right moment can make a huge difference to the rest of their lives. The community support hub is based in Southwark, London and this centre provides bespoke training as well as more holistic support including a focus on employability skills, CSCS cards, CVs and general employment support.

Bounce Back learner being instructed

The courses are open to any inmate who wishes to join and the course content is directed by the industry partners, making sure that the training is up to date and providing the skills that are really in demand.

Providing skills training is only the first part of the process and Bounce Back also actively engages with potential employers, setting up visits to the training centres and arranging interviews. 

Learners who have completed the course continue to get help from a team of support workers who guide them through the process of finding employment within the construction industry. It’s a win-win situation as employers in the sector regularly struggle to find tradespeople with the right skills and training. Often employment is found with one of the charity’s industry partners, many of whom are contractor firms. 

 

Anyone speculating on the success of this approach can take a look at the numbers. The national percentage of released prisoners who reoffend is 50%. Typically this is within a year of release and one of the main contributors to re-offending is lack of paid employment. For those who have completed a Bounce Back training programme, the reoffending rate is 10%.

Bounce Back’s approach provides employers with the opportunity to make a real difference to someone’s life while also adding an invaluable member to their team.

Look out for our next blog where we talk to one of Bounce Back’s trainers about the programmes on offer.

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