Boots employing ex-offenders

Jul 29, 2019

HACRO have been looking for Employers who specialise in the recruitment of marginalised groups within society. 

Helping to reduce re-offending

As a large employer with an influential supply chain, Boots believes in recruiting people from all walks of life, including those who have experienced the criminal justice system.

Many people in this position will never make it to an interview, let alone employment, as employers see it as too risky. However, we know that giving people an opportunity ultimately leads to less re-offending, less crime and has a positive impact on society.

42 year-old Ian works for Boots as an Inbound Team Leader, based at one of the company’s warehouses in the East Midlands. This November marks three years of Ian’s employment at Boots.

In this short amount of time his job has enabled him to get a mortgage, and start a family with his partner. To many of us, Ian’s situation might not sound like anything particularly remarkable. But just two years before Ian started his job at the warehouse he was serving a prison sentence.

“When I was convicted I thought that was it. Now I’ve got a life I didn’t think would be possible – life has gone full-circle.”

In many ways a typical man in his late thirties, Ian worked for an energy company and had a comfortable life in Newcastle. But on a night out with friends, some bad decisions led to Ian facing a very different future. In 2012 Ian was convicted and given a four year sentence.

“It’s something I should never have done, it’s something I never imagined would happen in my life – to get to that point, ending up in prison. Because I was convicted where the offence took place I had to pack up my life in Newcastle, knowing I was going to prison miles away. After that I thought I’d lost everything.”

Gaining valuable experience

Ian went to prison determined to try and make a life for himself when he was released. Towards the end of his sentence Ian was transferred to HMP Sudbury, a rehabilitation and resettlement prison where he was given the opportunity to gain work experience.

Boots has been working with HMP Sudbury for four years, and along with agency partners Gi Group and AM2PM, regularly visits the prison to present the opportunities for prisoners to work within a Boots’ warehouse. Keen to apply, Ian had to complete a month’s mandatory voluntary work before putting himself forward for a role working at the warehouse on a temporary license.

Please see link for more of Ian’s story

Please see link for more information about the Boots Access to work

Please also see HACRO’s getting ex-offenders into work: