After seeing many young ex-offenders struggle in their search for jobs, Rachel Wylie wants employers to look beyond their convictions and give them a chance.
Her story was shown on ITV News Calendar.
The 23-year-old from Leeds, who helps female ex-convicts find work, believes many want the opportunity to prove they can be trusted.
‘I volunteer with female offenders and have seen many get knocked back from employment time and time again,’ explains Rachel.
‘It’s unfair how some don’t have a shot at their own aspirations even after they’ve served their time.
‘I want to try to persuade employers to give them a chance in the workplace.’
With Fixers, Rachel and her team have helped create a film to show the difficulties young people with criminal records face when trying to get on the employment ladder.
Watch the film and find out more about the campaign by clicking on the image below.
Jackie Offord-Hardcastle, who works with female offenders at the Together Women Project, features in the broadcast item, in support of Rachel’s campaign.
‘There’s a big problem with employers writing ex-offenders off,' Jackie says.
‘We find that women are often built up in prison.
‘They attend education courses and are led to believe that this will make it quite easy for them to access employment, but the reality is, it doesn’t.’
Rachel adds: ‘My message to employers is that hiring female offenders can bring good things to their workforce.
‘Everybody is unique and a criminal record shouldn’t last forever.
‘Having a chance to make a difference to these women’s lives is amazing.
‘If other people gave them a chance, I think society would change.’
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Rachel Byrne and her team also want employers to give ex-offenders a chance.
Find out how they’re encouraging them to see beyond the conviction.