The Employment Academy
What are Employment Programs?
Programs which increases an ex-offender’s capacity for and access to legitimate employment and/or promotes employment stability. Very often paired with education programs.
Why are they important for ex-offenders?
Lack of employment/attachment to the labour market, coupled with educational achievement, is one of the ‘Central Eight’ risk factors for criminal offending.
- Finding stable employment has been cited as the single greatest barrier to the success of ex-offenders
- Employment provides a legal and stable form of income
- Incarceration and a criminal record construct major barriers to legal employment
- Many businesses and occupations will not hire individuals with convictions
Program places participants in short-term jobs. These jobs are generally not full-time, but the participant commits to a full-time, 40 hour/week, schedule. The rest of their time is expected to be filled with other services such as skills training, job placement and case management.
We have found that transitional jobs had the greatest effect on high-risk offenders, however, these effects on recidivism were not apparent until after the first year.
RMF provides courses around skills needed to procure and maintain a job in the construction or rail industry. These courses address expectations and may include coaching around interviewing, applications and core skills. Curricula are generally split into two primary categories:
Soft skills are informal skills that promote success in employment other life aspects
- How to dress for work or an interview
- Time management (showing up on time, consistently)
- Positive interactions with co-workers
- Writing a CV
- Conflict management
Skills that are specific to the job or work that the individual is doing. Formal education and certification will be required to demonstrate hard skills
Rail Specific Training
- NVQ Level 2 diploma in rail engineering
- Track Trolley
- Iron Man
- Rail Saw
- Rail Drill
- Cobra TT
- Impact Wrench
Health & Safety Specific Training
- Level 1 Award In Health and Safety in Construction Environment
- Emergency First Aid at work (Level 2)
- First Aid at Work (Level 3)
Construction Specific Training
- NRSWA- New Roads & Street works Course
- NRSWA Up to Supervisor Level
- Face Fit
- Manual Handling
- CAT & Genny
- Abrasive Wheels
- RMF has found that including a mentoring aspect to an employment program increases the average length of time that individuals remain in the program and doubles their likelihood of finding a job
- When mentoring is a supplement to other services such as job training or placement, mentees were also 35% less likely to recidivate than participants who were not mentored. RMF have found that mentoring is not effective as a stand-alone program
Many ex-offenders do not have basic financial management or banking skills and may not have access to banking services due to lack of work history and poor credit history
Asset development (gaining higher education, owning a car or home, having a savings account and or credit) promotes both short and long term success for offenders
Measurable Outcomes for Employment Programs
Development of Skills to acquire employment
- Soft Skills
- Hard Skills
- Job Placement
Long-term, consistent involvement with Construction/Rail Industry
Retention of same job for at least 6 months
Remaining consistently and legally employed even if not at original placement location
Upward or horizontal mobility within the Construction/Rail Industry
- Financial capacity to care for basic needs of self and/or children.
- Includes ability to pay child support if applicable
- Become a tax paying member of community
- Financial capacity to repay court-mandated fees
- Asset accumulation and development
- Savings for self and/or children
- Build or establish credit
- Car or home
Barriers to Outcomes
- Stigma around hiring former prisoners
- Violence in the workplace
- Insurance liability/bonding
- Access to criminal records may affect racial differences in hiring decision
- “Certificate of employability” won’t change employer resistance to hiring ex-offenders.
- Lack of soft skills
- Unstable housing
- Unstable transportation
- Ongoing substance abuse or dependence
- Untreated mental illness
- Requirements of probation, parole or treatment
- Release requirements often have specific timetables that may or may not conflict with the individual’s work schedule
- Regular urinalysis testing
- Regular in-person visits or check calls by the Probation Services
- Regular attendance of treatment/program meetings
- Fear of re-arrest, former prisoners often stop going to work if they know they are in violation of release or fear they will have be incarcerated because their work is known to their Probation Officer.
- Unregulated/illegal markets
- Ability to make more money
- Wages aren’t tracked and automatically deducted for court compensation or back payments
- More flexibility with work times
The RMF Program
Our program supports offenders through the transition from prison through to resettlement into the community. We work in partnership with public, private and third sector organisations to provide a network of support and to signpost offenders to the most appropriate resources as required. For many offenders resettlement has its own concerns and can be a confusing, unsettling, chaotic process; RMF, through its network of partners, mentors and trainer provides a consistent source of support to offenders. This program is successful due to individualised support and the connection maintained through the transition period. RMF helps offenders to make better informed choices, when connecting them with the Construction and Rail Industry for potential employment.
We prepare you to launch your new career. Meet employers who value you. Get the training you need. Build on your skills. Understand what employers want. Market yourself. Find the right job.