Mitch met with Be Onsite in his first week of release from prison in August 2009. Although he had no experience, Mitch demonstrated his eagerness to turn his life around and to embark on the road to a long-term career.
Be Onsite’s experts worked closely with Mitch to examine all his options and map out a route that reflected his ambitions, and contained contingencies to avoid any problems during his transition from prison to full-time employment.
The road to a better future
One of the early steps was for Mitch to visit Lend Lease’s major project at One New Change to give him a taster of a working construction site. He then undertook an apprenticeship with specialist drylining contractor Measoms, one of Be Onsite’s supply chain partners.
“Mitch has learned the practical side of the job with great enthusiasm. He is very well liked, shows character, and has, in my and the opinion of all I ask, fitted in very well. His character makes him shine. You get the desire to learn, along with the mischievousness needed to fit in, and the wanting to produce something worthwhile. He is just right for Measoms.”
Gordon Chrystie, Site Supervisor, Measoms
The placement provided him with a national minimum wage income, however his income did not cover the costs of the specialist hostel where he was required to live as part of his parole conditions. Be Onsite together with the on-site Jobcentre Plus team, worked hard to resolve this stumbling block and other practical issues by accessing employment start-up funds, housing benefit support and advocating on his behalf to ensure a smooth transition into work.
Mitch has now been working for over two years and is thriving in his new environment, having now completed his formal vocational courses that he attended one day a week as part of his apprenticeship.
Mitch is now volunteering his time as a Be Onsite mentor to young offenders, showing them what is possible and suggesting practical and realistic ways of turning their lives around.