Virgin Trains has introduced a toolkit for businesses offering them practical advice on hiring ex-offenders. At the same time the train company, which is part-owned by Sir Richard Branson, is calling for more organisations to follow its own example and employ people with previous convictions.
In the past three years, Virgin Trains on the West Coast has hired 30 ex-offenders, 25 of whom work for the company in roles across the business. Employment has shown to significantly decrease the risk of recidivism. Not a single ex-offender employee or candidate in the talent pool at Virgin Trains has re-offended and, that being the case, the company is now looking to hire more.
Branson, Virgin’s founder who has been championing the hiring of people with convictions for the past few years, commented: “I’m delighted that Virgin Trains has taken on the challenge of hiring ex-offenders so successfully. It was great to meet one of our employees from the scheme, Tammy Moreton, and see how well she’s progressing in her role. Business must become a stronger advocate for rehabilitation. It makes perfect sense as it increases the talent pool, reduces re-offending, nurtures entrepreneurial spirit and contributes towards safer communities. Ex-prisoners should have the chance to learn from the mistakes of their past. They should not be damned by them.”