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    New dry lining centre enables ex-offenders to bounce back into employment

    20th May 2015

    Bounce Back is celebrating the launch of the first Dry Lining Training Centre to open in a London Prison in a unique joint initiative with the Construction Industry.

    Supported by Knauf and Encon with Land Securities, Lend Lease and Be Onsite, this centre responds to the urgent need for trained workers in the sector and demonstrates how the industry can support in-prison training in a sponsored model which will see nearly 100 prisoners a year training to enter the workforce. 

    The facility offers the inmates of HMP Brixton the opportunity to learn dry lining in a state of the art training space.  Made possible due to the drive of Land Securities, Lend Lease, Knauf and Encon in response to a genuine need within the industry for trained dryliners.  Work will be offered to trainees by the partners amongst others, on release.

    The specific investment of materials by Knauf and all logistics by Encon made the centre possible  ‘it’s amazing what can be done when everyone comes together to make something happen’ said Fran Findlater CEO of Bounce Back ‘the need for skills in the construction industry means that the number of potential employees in prison presents a great opportunity’.

    The training will be facilitated by Bounce Back who have been successfully running Painting and Decorating training course within the prison for over a year.  For Bounce Back this is an exciting progression in line with their objective of effectively training offenders with skills that are relevant for employment upon release - either within their own Social Enterprise or beyond.

    The initiative was sparked as labour market information highlighted a shortfall in skilled dry liners to fulfil contractual requirements for the Nine Elms Development and the Elephant and Castle regeneration project. In response they approached construction industry partners - Land Securities and Lend Lease expressing a desire to train for this skill as part of their programme. Val Lowman (Lend Lease) put Bounce Back in touch with their supply chain partners - Encon and Knauf and the programme evolved.

    The programme is targeted to train 70 participants per academic year and offers those referred whilst in custody the opportunity to participate in the CITB C Skills course in Dry Lining to Diploma level 2.  Having gained a construction skills qualification whilst in custody, cohorts are well positioned to enter the construction industry workforce immediately upon release. This is a major step in bridging the gap from prison to employment as Bounce Back are further supported by Lend Lease and Land Securities who approach their supply chains for work opportunities and broker work placements.