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Employment Advisory Boards

What are Employment Advisory Boards?

Employment Advisory Boards (EABs) were launched to advise, support and challenge prisons on their training and employment offer to prisoners and prison leavers. Their goal is to see more people leave prisons and enter sustainable employment.

The Boards cover more than 90 prisons across England and Wales, including all resettlement prisons. Each Board is chaired by a business leader from companies such as KPMG, Lotus Cars and Sodexo. They draw membership from their business networks, other leaders within local communities, organisations which support the transition from custody into the community, and people with lived experience. 

The concept was the brainchild of James Timpson, Chief Executive of Timpson Group. Employment Advisory Boards are a partnership between His Majesty’s Prison and Probation ServiceNew Futures Network and The Timpson Foundation.

They are working incredibly effectively and positively challenging prisons on employment in a way that has never been done before. The Governor’s see them as a fantastic tool to help their men and women change their lives.
James Timpson, CEO, Timpson Group

How they deliver

Employment Advisory Boards work closely with prison Governors and staff working across education, employment and resettlement, to understand where they can add value. Boards can provide support such to:

  • Encourage businesses, both national and local, to engage with the prison and offer their resources, connections and knowledge to help those living and working in the prison to prepare for and find work on release.
  • The boards link prisons to leading business figures who can offer their expertise on the skills, qualifications, and training, needed to help prisoners re-enter the workforce. Using the insights from Chairs, prisons can tailor their training and workshops to match local labour market demands so prisoners are job-ready when they walk out the prison gate.
  • Help develop a positive culture of employment within the prison for long-term employment.
Employment Advisory Boards are a game-changer for prisons. The expertise that Board members will share will be invaluable. The aim is for this intelligence to inform the education and training offer in prisons and work opportunities that prisoners take up.
Duncan O’Leary, CEO, New Futures Network

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