Social Value in action at Enable
20 January 2023
At Enable, we are working on new initiatives, such as Enable Futures, to encourage the development of our future workforce and open opportunities for under-represented groups. This includes our work with prisons, offering mentoring, training, and employment support in partnership with prison resettlement and education hubs. Most recently, we collaborated with HMP Feltham to offer a Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) placement programme.
With the invaluable support of Michele Glassup, HMP Resettlement and Industries Manager, we were able to offer work experience to two young offenders, currently serving their final months in custody.
Duane Carey, our Reading Independent Feeder Project Manager, with his brilliant team, provided the two young men (YM) with a placement over two weeks where they were able to gain experience working in the yard and learn about the rail industry.
During their time on the project, we facilitated their CAT and Genny RD 8000 training as well as health and safety, spill kit and manual handling training. Day to day tasks also exposed them to assisting on banksmen responsibilities and general operative work.
Upon completion of the placement, both of the YM agreed that it had made them a lot more positive about reintegrating back into the community and they feel more confident about the prospect of securing a job upon release.
One noted, “It is so important to put yourself forward for the opportunities the prisons given you. I have a day job in the kitchens and when I’m not working there, I am always in the employment hub doing workshops and training. I’ve managed to get a lot of qualifications whilst being in here. So when ROTL came up, I put myself forward as I always do, and it’s been the best experience so far because it is real life. I have learnt skills I could never learn in the prison by having a release license going out into a work environment.”
On 15th December 2022, one of the young men was released and eager to gain employment. Peter Milnes, one of the General Managers within the Enable family, invited him for an interview just 5 days post-release and offered him a entry level role starting earlier this month (Jan 23).
Duane accompanied him to his interview, which the young man was grateful for, admitting he would have struggled to have the confidence to turn up on his own, highlighting the importance of mentoring.
We are now into the second week of his employment and the YM is doing very well. Peter comments: “He is eager and always willing to learn. He has integrated into the team well and we all see a bright future for him here.”
Morgan Clarke, Social Value Manager, visited the site at the end of his first week for a mentoring session, the YM noted: “I am feeling absolutely exhausted, I fell asleep at 8pm last night! But I finally feel excited to wake up in the morning and go to work. I’ve never had that feeling before. My probation officer said she didn’t even recognise me and that my attitude is really changing. Pete and Duane have been so good to me, I don’t know what I would be doing right now if I didn’t have this.”
When catching up with Michele, the team mentioned the YM was relying on his grandad to give him lifts to and from work and could do with some support in giving him a little more independence. Michele mentioned it made perfect sense to utilise Feltham’s Bike Workshop which in turn donated a refurbished bike to the YM that he can now use for his commute. This was a great example of the importance of collaboration with our partners.
Dan O’Dowd, Project Delivery Director, who helps lead our Enable Futures programme commented:
“I’m very proud of our people for embracing Enable Futures. An endeavour that aligns perfectly with our mission of ‘Creating Infrastructure Solutions with lasting community value’.
I want to thank Michele Glassup (HMP/YOI Feltham) for her continued support and guidance.
This is the start of a very exciting journey, so I’d like to thank the Enable team who are driving this forward and it’s great to see it already having a transformative impact on a young person in need of opportunity”
Enable are dedicated to continuing support work with prisons and other community beneficiaries to not only address industry skills shortages but to improve the lives of others in the course of our work. We look forward to sharing more social and community value news in the future!