BDA Webinar – Addressing the skills shortage – have you considered employing an ex-offender?” – Reviewed

June 28, 2023

The latest British Drilling Association (BDA) Webinar was delivered on 28th June 2023, at 1pm, and discussed the very relevant topic of “Addressing the skills shortage – have you considered employing an ex-offender?”.

The webinar was presented via Teams, by Karen Baker and Fadzai Dzimwasha of The Bounce Back Foundation, and looked at how the organisation has successfully been delivering construction skills training in London prisons and in the community since 2011. It also looked at just how the drilling sector could work with them to give ex-offenders a second chance, whilst helping to address the skills shortage.

The webinar took attendees through some of the background issues facing business in the UK relating to the lack of available skills – most notable was that some ‘…225,000 construction workers are needed by 2027, according to the latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report’, and that the UK economy will be ‘£39 billion worse off each year from 2024’ as a direct consequence.

The presentation then moved on to what the Bounce Back Foundation represents and the experience it has supporting people with experience of the criminal justice system to access education, training, and employment opportunities, primarily within the construction industry.

The various accredited construction training it runs in four prisons (HMP Brixton, Wandsworth, Isis and Pentonville) and at its community training hub in the London Borough of Southwark, were highlighted and what qualifications they offer.

How the organisation supports individuals after they have gained an appropriate qualification was explained, as well as the work it does with companies to support them from risk assessments to referrals into other services, pre-employment support, job brokering and in-work support.

Case studies were also presented, as well as just how successful Bounce Back has been in getting ex-offenders back into mainstream working and some of the companies already benefitting from the scheme.

The presentation concluded with a recap of the benefits of the Bounce Back Project, direct and indirect and how to get involved.

A recording of the webinar is available for those that missed it or those that wish to refresh some of the key topics discussed. The recording can be viewed HERE.

The BDA is currently working with training providers and members to provide options for its partners, like Bounce Back, for drilling demonstrations and ‘taster’ training and specific drilling pre-employment training. If you are interested in working with the BDA to help support ex-offenders into the drilling industry, maybe by providing volunteers and equipment at no cost, as well as employment opportunities, please register your interest with BDA General Manager, Joel Stevens – – and look out for updates in the near future.

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