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How can we offer more Education, Training and Employment (ETE) to people with criminal convictions?

When we started Offploy around four years ago, it was so difficult to broach the subject of employing people with criminal convictions with employers and with society.

One of the first employability courses we ran

This difficulty was compounded when very few commissioners were actually funding employment services for people with criminal convictions.

Our day to day involved applying for small bids and grants where we could, countless rejected cold calls to local employers and having the most fun delivering engaging two-day employability courses ran by people with lived experience of the criminal justice sector.

We started off very much as a small course provider and did as much jobs brokerage as we could in our spare time. This was the foundation of our social enterprise, Offploy Community Interest Company.


Fast-forward four years and we're now a service funded by Grants (15%), Commissioned work (65%) and Commercial Income (20%) from Offploy Justice Personnel. We've formed great links with local probation services and job centres and now provide a whole range of support to both practitioners and service users.

It took a lot of trial error to get to this point and if we could go back to the beginning we would do a few things differently. However, our time machine is currently in the shop getting repaired, so in the meantime, we thought we would take all of our findings and recommendations and group them into one document.

Jacob with WYPCC Mark Burns-Williamson presenting our white paper


“The key to reducing re-offending, is to enable everyone to feel they have a positive role to play in their community and society as a whole, contributing productively despite having a criminal past.

Having a job and employment is a key element of this, as a result of his personal journey the work which Jacob has done through the creation of Offploy over the past 4yrs or so supports those with past convictions to get back on track and into meaningful employment.”

Mark Burns-Williamson

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner


Who is this document for?

The document was specifically designed for the below organisations to encourage collaborative working and policy changes:

  • Police and Crime Commissioners

  • Probation Services

  • Local Councils and

  • The Department for Work and Pensions

However, we also wrote the document with the services in mind that actively support people with criminal convictions into employment. We hope this document will serve as a blueprint to serve you in securing funding and sustainability for your organisations.

We'd love to hear from you

If you have any thoughts or want to find out more about the white paper, please email



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