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  • Overview

    • The Young Offender Programme led by National Grid is a training and employment programme focused on the rehabilitation of offenders. It works with prisoners coming towards the end of their sentences, providing training and sustainable employment on release.

      From an initial partnership with a group of contractors within the gas industry and a young offenders institution the Programme is now linked with over 20 prisons and, although titled the Young Offender Programme, there are now adult male and female establishments, both open and closed, involved.

      The Programme is established in the following major industry sectors:

      • gas / electricity
      • engineering / construction
      • utility contractors
      • logistics
      • support services
      • financial services

      and it focuses on serving a recruitment need within the more than 80 companies and organisations engaged. Those in the public arena include Universities and the London Fire Brigade.

      Essential to the programme’s success is the delivery of work-based training external to the prison while the offender is still serving his or her sentence and the seamless transition into employment at the date of release. This means all candidates must be eligible for Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) and pass stringent prison selection boards and external interviews before being accepted. Mentoring is provided both pre and post release which supports the journey into the world of work.

      The jobs are ‘real’ and the offenders need to be as good as those recruited through traditional routes. Retention rates are around 10 per cent better that those recruited conventionally and from those that joined the initial gas training programmes, 15 per cent have progressed to team leadership roles.

      The Programme manages to keep the reoffending rate for participants in the gas/electricity sector to less than 7 per cent – substantially less than the 50 per cent national average reoffending rate for young offenders. Reducing reoffending is a serious concern as it costs around £40,000 to keep someone in prison for a year and there are around 85,000 prisoners. The cost savings to the UK taxpayer are clear and the Home Office National Action Plan on Reducing Re-Offending highlighted National Grid’s Programme and its effectiveness in the Social Exclusion Unit Report on reducing reoffending and in reports produced by the Home Affairs Select Committee.

      Steve Holliday, National Grid’s Chief Executive leads the expansion and roll out of the Programme and it has become a blueprint for wider industry adoption with scores of companies replicating the training and employing offenders model to meet their own skills needs.

      The Programme has won a number of Awards including a National Training Award, Business in the Community Awards for Excellence and Utility Week Awards.

      Promo Panel
      Title:  Case Studies
      Sub Title:
      "The programme changed my life. I’m now a team leader, I’m a boss! What a result!”
      Link to URL:   Real life stories
      "The programme changed my life. I’m now a team leader, I’m a boss! What a result!”

      Real life stories
    • “National Grid’s Young Offender Programme is a great example of working with offenders both during and after their sentence. This ‘through the gate’ approach, where we give people education and skills in prison and then continue to support them on release is very important and is the strength of the National Grid model. Offenders are already trained in recognisable qualifications and have proven that they can be trusted to work out in the community in a real work environment.”

      Rt Hon Lord McNally
      Chair, Youth Justice Board

      “The programme is the best single example we have in Britain of corporate social responsibility. Everyone can see how much better off we all are, if people coming out of prison go into work with confidence for themselves and their families, with the prospect of avoiding the re-offending which ensnares the great majority of those leaving prison...

      “The social gains from this initiative are large and obvious but the main reason for doing it has always been a business need. National Grid and many other companies need to recruit more highly motivated trainees. It is a fact that the Young Offender Programme is helping them powerfully to do that.

      Rt Hon Stephen Timms
      Shadow Minister, Work and Pensions

    • Contact us at:


      Young Offender Programme
      National Grid
      Grand Buildings
      1-3 Strand
      London WC2N 5EH

      Project Coordinator
      +44(0)207 004 3491
      Melanie Rowing-Parker