Skip to main content

Employment: Offenders

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL7287, tabled on 23 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what training they provide to work coaches to help them to support women with criminal records or who are on probation, when they are applying for jobs.

Answered on

6 April 2022

Work Coach learning is designed to be gender neutral, and support tailoring actions to individual customer needs. It does not specifically reference women with criminal records or who are on probation, when they are applying for jobs.

Specific Universal Credit Prison Work Coach (PWC) learning is provided for Work Coaches who will be undertaking a role with prison leavers. This comprises of 47 hours of learning, blended to include facilitation, self-study and group work. The learning content can be tailored to learners’ requirements.

This PWC learning aims to provide skills and knowledge without any reference to gender, preparing the PWC to support prison leavers with their Universal Credit claim and journey into employability. There is a focus on building relationships with employment partners to help create workshops and job vacancies for prison leavers.

All Work Coaches including PWCs complete Complex Needs learning. This is upskilling to identify a claimant who has complex needs and be aware of the support that they can give. Concerns, such as prevalent employer attitudes to ex-offenders, stigma and common misconceptions are discussed. Learning highlights that ex-offenders are often vulnerable because they may have lived outside of the modern world for a period and may be less used to managing their own affairs.

The learning provides information on what has to be declared and supports giving advice to ex-offenders on disclosure. Learning stipulates that a Work Coach must get a customer's consent before declaring that they have a conviction to an employer.