Virgin Trains has come up with a toolkit for businesses which offers practical advice on hiring ex-offenders.
In the past three years, Virgin Trains on the west coast has hired 30 ex-offenders of which 25 still work for the company in roles across the business.
The rail industry has been helping ex- offenders a lot longer, with many finding gainful employment as track workers and engineers. Give an ex-convict a job and a place to stay and the likelihood of she or he re-offending drops dramatically.
Not a single ex-offender employee or candidate in the talent pool at Virgin Trains has re-offended and the company is looking to hire more. The Virgin Trains toolkit covers the company’s experiences from when it initially set up the programme three years ago.
Tammy Moreton, 23, from Birmingham is now working for Virgin Trains on the other side of the law as a revenue protection inspector after spending two years in and out of prison.
As an apprentice, Tammy is training staff on ticket scanning machines, cracking down on fare-dodgers and getting qualifications along the way. Without her apprenticeship at Virgin Trains, Tammy believes she would have struggled to stay out of prison.
Says Tammy, ‘I thought I would spend my life in and out of prison. But bit by bit I decided to take matters into my own hands and turn my life around.
‘I was incredibly proud when I was offered the apprenticeship at Virgin Trains and another chance at life. Since being employed, my life has really changed; I’m now mentoring other ex-offenders to find employment too. I am determined to put my past behind me and embrace this new future.’