Leaving prison can be a challenging time but it can also give you the opportunity to take stock and improve your skill set, giving you the best chance of finding work. Here are five tips to help you secure a job:
1: Assess your skill gaps
Take the National Careers Services’ skills assessment (external website) to find out what careers might be a good fit for you. You never know, you might just come across something you never considered before.
Take a look at the thousands of critical jobs in growing industries (external website).
2: Develop your skill set
Whether you’re considering a completely new career or are getting ready to go back into a similar role to the one you had before prison, think about areas you’d like to develop in. You can get tailored, free advice on learning opportunities from the government organisations listed below:
- Go to My World of Work (external website) (Scotland), Careers Wales (external website) (Wales) or the National Careers Service (external website) (England).
- For help with digital and numeracy skills take a look at, The Skills Toolkit (external website) which has free, high quality courses from a range of providers such as Google Digital Garage, Lloyds Bank and Open University.
- Reed.co.uk also have numerous free courses (external website)
3. Gain experience through volunteering
Volunteering gives you the chance to do things you haven’t done before. It’s also a great way to gain experience when you’ve been out of work for a while, boosting your chances of gaining paid work. It demonstrates to employers that you’re motivated, capable and able to develop yourself. You can volunteer right now – find out how to help in your local area (external website)
4. Update your CV
You’ll have a range of skills you maybe don’t recognise, and perhaps you even gained new ones during your time in prison.The National Careers Service (external website) has some great advice on how to reflect those skills in an effective CV.
5. Speak to a Jobcentre work coach
If you claim Universal Credit or other benefits on release, then you’ll have a Work Coach based in your local jobcentre. They can help provide you with a tailored programme of activities that will help give you the confidence and capability to move back into work. They can identify training options and volunteering opportunities too.
For further help and support finding work, social justice charity Nacro (external link) provides a huge range of advice – check their quick guides to get started (external link)