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Business & Economy

Bernicia provides £10,000 boost to help ex-offenders find work

A housing association is partnering with a charity to help those with convictions find work.

Bernicia has struck an alliance with The Recruitment Junction.

Bosses say the six-month project will allow the Newcastle-based charity to work with an extra 20 former offenders.

The £10,000 commitment is part of Bernicia’s wider £2 million employability programme, which aims to create job opportunities for communities where its tenants live.

The cash will help fund a specialist support worker, who will help 20 men and women across Northumberland, Tyneside and Wearside find full-time or part-time employment.

Leading firms to have lent their support include Greene King, Suez, Sunbelt Rentals, Adderstone Group, Mitie and Wagamama.

Dionne Smith, Bernicia employability partner, said: “We recognise the complexity of the challenges people with convictions are faced with.

“Our investment in The Recruitment Junction programme allows us to break down attitudes and barriers, to recognise, understand and address the full diversity of the prison population, help raise their aspirations and get them access to fulfilling work.”

Beverley Brooks, founder of The Recruitment Junction, added: “We are passionate about seeing people rediscover a sense of purpose through work, becoming role models who drive positive generational impact across their families.

“Since launching at the end of 2020, we have placed more than 300 people with convictions into paid work across more than 100 local employers, with over 75 per cent job retention rates, and more than 98 per cent of these men and women going on to live crime-free lifestyles.

“I look ahead with confident expectation to building upon this in 2023.”