Wates aims to employ people from a more diverse talent pool. As part of our strategy to do this, we work with recruiters that specialise in the construction industry to hire prison leavers through the New Futures Network, a specialist part of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.
Jamal, 34, who lives in Greenwich with his partner and children, works at the Shuttleworth Road site in the London Borough of Wandsworth. He has successfully gained employment with Wates Residential.
What is your home / family situation?
Family is everything to me. I have longed to return to them not only free from prison but also from crime.
I have been working very hard on my personal development and future employment; stability is key to my and my family’s happiness.
I feel I am achieving my goals and targets and in doing so, am gaining the trust of my family too.
Did you know what career path you wanted to take when you left school?
After leaving school, I moved to Canada to pursue my dream of becoming an NBA basketball player However, I didn’t settle there and soon moved back to England. This is when things started to go wrong for me, and I became involved in crime.
What skills and/or qualifications did you gain in prison?
While in prison, I participated in a City and Guilds employability skills course, but a key skill I learnt more generally was patience! I also gained some qualifications there: Level 2 NVQs in English; in hospitality, food and beverages; and a Level 2 qualification in mentoring.
Since joining Wates Residential, I have gained National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) hoist certificate which means I now have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully carry out my hoist operator role.
How did you end up in construction?
When I left prison, I decided I wanted a job with flexibility. In the construction industry there are so many different roles available, that can also be highly paid!
Have you worked in construction before?
I previously worked as a labourer and a construction supervisor for sub-contractors but I was never given the support to further my career other than from my father-in-law.
What skills do you need in your role as hoist operator?
The three skills most important to my role are: one: communication; two: time management; and three:, knowledge of Health and Safety rules and regulations.
What does your role involve?
My role involves liaising with sub-contractors and various people on site to ensure the safe use of the hoist while transporting different materials around the site. While working, I carry out regular safety checks of the hoist to ensure all hoist parts are working properly, which keeps all those on site safe!
What do you like most about your role?
My job allows me to interact with so many different people on site. I also love that this job has given me the opportunity to earn an honest wage and start on a career journey within the construction industry. Most importantly, having this job has given me confidence in myself and my family confidence in me.
What do you think the next step is for you?
I am currently looking into taking further courses to help me progress in my career and gain more skills which will allow me to apply for a wider variety of roles within the construction industry. I want to continue my career journey to allow me financial freedom, to improve my employability skills and help my personal development.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be financially stable and living a happy, healthy and crime free life with my family.
Sasha Bayly Simmonds from PSR Solutions commented:
Being able to support Jamal with his journey has been great.
A lot of people think prison leaver’s / ex-offenders are bad news. However, if you take the time to listen to their stories you realise that many are good people who made a bad choice.
It’s been lovely getting to know Jamal and guiding him through his last few months in his sentence, helping him to become a better version of himself and continue his career in construction.”