Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


water companies target young offenders

June 2005

UK water companies Anglian and Thames have joined forces to launch a recruitment programme offering training and jobs for young offenders nearing the end of their prison sentences.

The pilot project begins this month when eight young offenders will embark on a 13-week basic training programme, at the end of which they will be offered jobs either by the water companies or through their contracting partners Morrison and Clancy Docwra.

The programme will be a mixture of in-house training and work experience, and when it ends candidates should have a national vocational qualification in water network construction.

The scheme is based on a similar venture recently undertaken by the UK gas industry, and although seen as part of the companies’ community programmes, is also intended to ease recruitment shortages in the utility industries.

‘It’s fairly selfish,’ said Anglian Water Group’s community investment manager Shelagh Linkleter. ‘We are running out of pools to recruit from. Young people today want to do media studies and don’t understand what utilities can offer them.’

The programme will be funded by the two companies, and young offenders will be offered mentoring throughout.

The companies say it costs £36,000 ($66,800) a year to keep a young offender in jail and that the re-offending rate following release is around 70 per cent. National Grid Transco reduced re-offending rates down to seven per cent when it operated a similar programme. Linkleter said the scheme should therefore reduce costs to the public purse.

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