What can we offer you as an ex-offender?
During your contract with Blue Sky you can expect the following services that, as a package, are key to reducing re-offending:
- We will offer you a full-time employment contract for up to 6 months.
- We only win commercial work with entry-level positions with jobs where it doesn’t matter if you have no qualifications or previous work experience.
- We ‘employ then train’ rather than the other way around so from day 1 of your contract with us you are earning money and supporting yourself.
- Our jobs are all around London, the south-east, Thames Valley as well as the the south-west and depending on the area you might be doing grounds maintenance, recycling, or distribution work though we are creating new job opportunities in different sectors all the time. Click on the map below to see where we work and what we do.
- Currently 50% of our full-time staff have a criminal record proving to you and all other new recruits that having an offending past does not mean there are no opportunities available to you.
- They offer their first-hand experience and guidance on things like disclosing your criminal record, reconnecting with your family after prison and managing your day-to-day finances.
- Our team take great pride in the mentoring aspect of their role because as they are promoted from within Blue Sky they will have benefited from the same peer support when they first started.
After you’ve been with us for 3 months you can access our ‘Training Fund’. We want you to get the best out of it so qualifications and courses are tailored to your individual needs and ability. As far as possible we try to match the training we fund to specific job opportunities.
You could be eligible for up to £300 of training if you have proven your commitment and demonstrated a positive work ethic. If there’s something you specifically want then we are open to discussions but the training courses we fund most regularly are:
- Constructions certificates (CSCS)
- Pesticide Spraying
- Forklift driving (Counterbalance and Reach)
- Chainsaw licence
- 1st Aid at Work
- Digger driving
- PTS Railtrack Training
- Driving lessons and tests
Training funds are administered at the discretion of the Blue Sky staff. Please contact Shirley Byatt in the office on 01895 839 848.
Housing Loan Scheme
We regularly employ ex-offenders who are in housing difficulty and believe that our employees being in stable and safe accommodation should be a priority for us. As a result, we run a Housing Loan Scheme:
- If you have a housing issue then you can apply for the Scheme and you’ll be assessed by our In-work Support Officer
- You can apply for up to £600 but you must outline exactly what your needs are. For example, for putting down a deposit and/or for paying the first month’s rent for a property or room that is required up front
- You will be expected to repay the interest-free loan in small weekly instalments (typically about £30p/w) in full throughout your contract. The deduction will be made directly from weekly payroll provided you haven’t been off sick
To discuss loans please contact Shirley Byatt in the office on 01895 839 848.
As well as housing we also offer loans for a variety of things such as:
- Paying for insurance
- Buying a car or van
- Furnishing a new flat or room
- Buying relevant textbooks for courses or qualifications
Like the housing loans you will need to outline exactly what the money is required for and we will draw up an interest-free repayment plan.
In addition, we run a ‘Matched Grant Scheme’ if you require more expensive training. We are unlikely to fund training (or a package of training) that costs more than £300. However, if there is a course that will make a substantial difference to your employability then we will part-fund it provided you pay for the remainder of the costs. For example, recently some employees undertook a Pesticide Spraying course to broaden the type of jobs they could apply for in the grounds maintenance sector. The course costs £414 so Blue Sky funded the first £300 and each employee contributed £114 of their own money.
To discuss loans or the Matched Grant Scheme please contact Shirley Byatt in the office on 01895 839 848.
Blue Sky’s job opportunities are a stepping-stone into gaining a permanent job elsewhere. That is why we offer 6-month contracts; it gives us enough time to offer you meaningful support and gives you enough time to develop your skills and figure out what sort of career you want.
Currently around half of all our leavers are supported into a permanent job on completing their contracts with Blue Sky. Just two examples are Princess and Ray.
Once you have left us we are still just a phone call away if you ever need any help. We do not offer jobs to ex-employees but will support you with information, advice and guidance on employment, training and housing whenever you need it.
You can also help us help other ex-offenders by letting us know what you’re up to and who you’re working for. Please just take a couple of minutes to complete this form:
Blue Sky accepts applications all year round but before submitting a referral form please ensure you have done the following:
- Read each of the tabs above so that you know exactly what is on offer and what isn’t
- Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) thoroughly
- Checked where Blue Sky has commercial contracts (click on the map alongside) and made sure you would actually be able to get to work for approximately 7am
- Read through the relevant job description/s for the contract/s you would like to apply for to ensure you want to do that type of work. All of Blue Sky’s job descriptions can be found in the FAQs page under ‘Our Work’