Blue Sky is expanding continuously and with the support of Groundwork, our parent company, we have established 3 franchises:
- 2009: Blue Sky North West
- 2010: Blue Sky Wakefield
- 2012: Blue Sky West Midlands
Blue Sky now manages over 20 commercial contracts across England
Since 2007, our commercial income has increased six-fold.
In 2012/13 we:
- maintained and improved over 3.4m square metres of land
- diverted over 14,600 tonnes of waste from landfill and recycling
- planted nearly 15,000 trees
More than 750 ex-offenders have been employed since we began in October 2005.
- The average age of our employees is 29
- Over half of our employees have had drug and/or alcohol issues in the past
- 16% of our employees are PPOs and 10% are MAPPAs, i.e. the hardest to reach
Before Blue Sky Luke was working full-time in the telecommunications sector and was a qualified engineer. However, when he was 25, despite having a job he started committing crimes and was subsequently in and out of prison for convictions for burglary. In fact, he was charged so many times that eventually he was labelled a Prolific & Priority Offender (PPO) and getting back on the ‘straight and narrow’ looked hopeless.
After getting out of prison (having served a 2.5 year stretch) he was offered a job by a stroke of luck. He snapped it up and proved he was a hard worker and dedicated to the job. 6 months down the line, however, the company ran a CRB check and because of Luke’s extensive criminal record he was let go.
Devastated by this and at risk of re-offending his probation officer put him in touch with Blue Sky where he was given a 2-week trial contract. He quickly proved that he had great team work skills and could be trusted with responsibility so the 2-week trial turned into a 6 month contract. He was recently made a supervisor of the painting team working for Slough Borough Council.
Since being at Blue Sky Luke has grown in confidence, is integrating himself back into the community and hopes to start up his own business eventually. He recently said:
“Blue Sky has done so much for me by giving me the platform to get my feet back on the ground. I hope that I can be a role model for others coming through Blue Sky by showing how much my life has changed since coming here”
- Only 15% of Blue Sky ex-employees have re-offended – a quarter of the national average
- 48% of our employees move into sustained employment once they leave Blue Sky – despite ex-offenders finding it eight times harder to secure a job compared to people with no criminal record
- 51% of our employees leave us with accredited qualifications
- For every 10 Blue Sky employees, benefits of their being in employment are felt on average by a further 17 family dependents
These are some of the statistics that motivate and inspire us to do what we do.
- Re-offending costs the UK £11 billion each year.
- England and Wales release 90,000 prisoners per annum. 60% re-offend within two years.
- Employment reduces the probability of re-offending by 33-50%.
- 75% of ex-offenders have no job on release.
- The estimated cost for every single re-offender is approximately £200,000 and it costs around £45,000 to imprison one criminal for a year.
- Every new prison built costs the country £400m.
- A combination of employment and accommodation has been shown to be the most effective intervention in reducing re-offending.