Greene King helps 100 prison leavers find employment

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Making a difference: Greene King Releasing Potential scheme has helped 100 prison leavers find employment in its pubs and hotels since its launch in 2019
Making a difference: Greene King Releasing Potential scheme has helped 100 prison leavers find employment in its pubs and hotels since its launch in 2019

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Greene King’s award-winning social mobility scheme, Releasing Potential, has helped 100 prison leavers find employment since its launch in 2019.

Releasing Potential offers those in the prison system across 35 prisons an opportunity to join Greene King in a variety of roles, including back and front of house and hotel housekeeping positions, directly upon release.

Greene King chief people officer Andrew Bush said: “We understand everyone has a past, but regardless of background we want to help people build a successful future in the hospitality industry.

“We recognise the importance of social mobility and our role in supporting it.

“Releasing Potential isn’t just a one-off drive to help prison leavers, it’s a key focus for our business that will continue to grow and expand, supporting those in the prison system on their journey to a successful rehabilitation.

“We’re pleased 100 prison leavers have already joined the Greene King family and look forward to welcoming many more successful applicants in the coming months.”

Making a difference 

Potential applicants are selected from recent prison leavers and those still carrying out their sentence with specialist training and support provided until they are released.

Following the training, a successful work trial and job interview, the applicant is then offered a relevant role at Greene King.

The scheme also helps applicants ready themselves for work while carrying out their sentence by working with partners and charities such as the New Futures Network, the Ministry of Justice, NOVUS, Only A Pavement Away and the Recruitment Junction. 

Only A Pavement Away CEO Greg Mangham said: “The work Greene King is doing is really making a difference. 

“Our data shows out of 70,000 prison leavers released each year, just 15% are in P45 employment one month after release.

“In total, re-offending costs the taxpayer £18bn each year and to make things even more challenging for prison leavers, 50% of employers currently reject someone if they have a criminal record.

Positive impact 

“Getting a job is crucially important and we know a prison leaver who has a steady job is 87% less likely to re-offend.”

Upon release, prison leavers receive a discharge grant of £76 and, in many instances, once travel back to their former hometown or city and basic amenities are paid for, some are left with almost no funds to restart their lives.   

One current employee, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “I joined Greene King Releasing Potential prison leaver scheme whilst in custody.

“I was anxious and nervous about what I was going to do after my release, how people would react to an ex-offender and how people would prejudge me. I had already written myself off, thinking no-one would be willing to give me a second chance.

“I welcomed the offer of a kitchen role by Greene King, I had no hospitality experience but was keen and eager to learn, valuing not only the job offer but the opportunity to turn my life around.

“The positive impact of my employment with Greene King has been I have learned new skills and [am] currently working towards a Level 2 Kitchen apprenticeship. I have also positively reconnected with family and adjusted back into society.”

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