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Construction Companies Gather for Prison Engagement Special

On Thursday 21st March, Weston College and Acorn by Synergie hosted ‘Diversifying the Bristol Workforce – Prison Engagement Special’ at Ashton Gate Stadium.

The event which shed light on the potential of hiring Prison Leavers within the construction sector, was abuzz with enthusiasm from industry leaders, looking to unlock a new talent pool.

With approximately 50 attendees, including representatives from various construction companies, the event provided a platform for meaningful discussions and insightful exchanges.

As part of the discussions, was an informative, inspiring, and insightful panel of prominent figures, including:

  • Paul Kerslake, Managing Director of RTS Group and Chair of the Employment Advisory Board at HMP Leyhill
  • Neil Lavis, Regional Broker for New Futures Network Avon, South Dorset, and Wiltshire
  • Megan Porter, Recruitment Diversity Manager for Kier Group
  • George, a Bristol-based site manager with lived experience shared his personal journey of rehabilitation and successful integration into the construction sector after being offered an opportunity during his time in prison.
  • Alastair Phelpstead, Assistant Principal for Weston College Prison Education Group.

Following the panel discussion, attendees had the opportunity to engage with the panellists, asking questions and seeking further advice.

Louise Greene, Employer Partnership Manager at Weston College and Lawrence Beach, Client Development Director at Acorn by Synergie co-organised the event, Lawrence commented: “It was inspiring to see that many people linked with the construction industry sharing experiences, keen to learn more, with a will to help prison leavers.”  Louise commented: “This event marked a significant step towards fostering inclusive employment practices within the construction industry, emphasizing the transformative impact of providing opportunities for Prison Leavers.

“Working together with companies across the region, we can create brighter futures for all.”

For more information about the work Weston College do to support employers, please click here.

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