REED joins forces with major employers to help more ex-offenders in Scotland back into work

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According to the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, research has shown that three quarters of UK companies would not consider hiring someone with a criminal record. This is a cause for concern in Scotland, where a third of men and one in 10 women hold a previous conviction.

To help tackle this, new body ‘Release Scotland’ has been launched. Release Scotland is co-founded by REED, Greggs, Virgin Trains and Timpson and backed by the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government. The launch of this organisation comes just a week after also co-founding the UKs first criminal records trade body (CRTB) and forms part of our commitment to promoting fairness in the employment of people with convictions.

Release Scotland will work to encourage employers to consider hiring ex-offenders by focusing on the benefits that hiring these individuals can bring to businesses, as well as the wider socio-political landscape. Pete White of Release Scotland asserts that those who have been through the criminal justice system “will probably be committed to doing the best that they can in the workplace” and are also “far less likely to re-offend.”

Additionally, the body will continue to work with employers throughout the recruitment process - providing guidance and support on application and interviewing, through to creating a supportive work environment.

"Business has the power to affect change, and at REED we take that responsibility seriously. As such we helped co-found Release Scotland to help support UK PLC in ensuring their recruitment processes are inclusive and don't exclude a talent pool of people who may have been disadvantaged by recruitment practices in the past." – Keith Rosser, Director of Reed Screening

Find out more about Reed Screening and how we support employers across the UK to vet candidates in a fair and professional way.