Recruitment drives and encouraging ex-offenders into employment

The Student Loans Company, BT and EE launch recruitment drives, while new employability boards aim to help prisoners obtain gainful work.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is recruiting for 150 permanent jobs in Darlington.

Based within SLC’s operations team, the new customer service roles will focus on processing maintenance loan applications for 2m students each year and paying tuition fees to more than 600 higher education institutions.

Successful candidates will receive a reward package including flexible working, access to the civil service pension scheme and a generous holiday entitlement. 

The organisation is based at Lingfield Point in Darlington, but with colleagues spending time in the office and at home, applications are being encouraged from across the North-East.

Telecoms specialists BT and EE have launched a joint recruitment drive to hire 1,000 new UK-based contact centre staff by the end of April. The roles will be across 24 sites nationwide, including contact centres in Warrington, Doncaster and Sheffield.

The new roles are part of a multi-million pound investment in the latest technology to give extra support to customers who rely on their internet connection to work and socialise.

A new SMS service has launched for BT and EE customers, allowing customers to speak to contact centre staff when it suits them. The new text service will give customers the ability to raise issues with their service, book engineer visits and run service checks, so that they can contact staff around their schedule.

Finally, firms such as Lotus Cars and Sodexo will chair new Employment Advisory Boards across the prison service following a successful trial.

The boards work with prisons and employers to ensure that offenders use their time in prison to gain the skills and links to job opportunities they need to go straight into stable work upon release.

Employment Advisory Boards have already been established in 20 prisons, and will be up and running in all 91 ‘resettlement’ prisons in England and Wales by April 2023.

Boards are chaired by experts from companies such as car manufacturer Lotus, construction firm Murphy Group and business services provider Sodexo. They work with prisons to ensure they understand what employers want so offenders have the right skills and links to job opportunities on release.

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