New firm aims to give former offenders a chance at building a career in construction
Fifty ex-offenders are to be recruited by a new social enterprise dedicated building affordable homes and bringing empty properties back into use.
Glasgow Together (GT) aims to build around 50 affordable new homes at a number of sites across the city.
Ex-offenders, including many from Barlinnie Prison, will be employed on both new build and refurbishment projects with roles lasting from 9-12 months.
GT will set tailored personal development plans for all new employees on the programme; starting with low-skilled, manual work before progressing to more complex construction tasks.
It will also work with current offenders serving a custodial sentence at Barlinnie Prison. Prisoners will have the opportunity to gain unpaid work experience in the timber kit construction workshop and on release they will be considered as potential GT employees.
The organisation has been funded by an investment of more than £750,000 from third sector lender Social Investment Scotland (SIS), as well as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and The Robertson Trust.
An additional £1.25 million has been invested through fundraising led by Triodos Bank.
The organisation estimates it will be able to support 10 ex-offenders per year with the first employees scheduled to start in early 2016.
The potential now truly exists to change the lives of ex-offenders - Barry Mochan
Barry Mochan, chief executive of Glasgow Together, commented: “This is without doubt the most exciting and worthwhile project I have ever been involved in. We are delighted to have raised the funds via our bond issue to make this a reality in Glasgow.
“The potential now truly exists to change the lives of ex-offenders and have a real impact on reoffending rates.
"I can’t thank enough those who have helped us to achieve this either through contributing to the bond issue or provision of guidance – and in some case both.
"I very much look forward to continuing the phenomenal success achieved by our sister companies in Bristol and Midlands.”
Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “Glasgow Together is a very welcome addition to the Scottish social business marketplace.
"Through its commitment to find full time employment for ex-offenders, not only can it have a significant impact on reducing reoffending rates, but it also promises to make a meaningful contribution to Scotland’s shortage of affordable housing.
"We’re excited about working closely with the team to help them achieve these goals.”