Finance Secretary Derek Mackay visits social enterprise offering building work to ex-offenders
Building site - Image credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Finance secretary Derek Mackay yesterday visited a Glasgow project that helps prevent re-offending by providing construction work for ex-offenders, as it announced its biggest project to date.
Glasgow Together is a social enterprise dedicated to creating full-time jobs for ex-offenders building new affordable homes and bringing empty properties back into use.
Mackay was visiting the organisation to celebrate work on its latest and biggest residential property project, the conversion of a villa in Pollockshields with backing from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and Robertson Trust.
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The project will provide employment for up to five ex-offenders, who are actively seeking opportunities to get their lives back on track.
Glasgow Together was launched in 2015 with the aim of reducing re-offending rates by building around 50 affordable new homes at a number of sites across the city, as well as refurbishing empty homes.
The organisation has already carried out six projects and employed six workers with previous convictions, as well as local tradesmen.
Ex-offenders are being employed by Glasgow Together on both new build and refurbishment projects with roles lasting from 12 months or more.
All employees are set tailored personal development plans appropriate to their experience level.
The organisation is also working with current offenders serving a custodial sentence at Barlinnie Prison.
Prisoners have the opportunity to gain unpaid work experience in the timber kit construction workshop and on release they will be considered as potential GT employees.
In the 18-months it has been going, the organisation so far has a zero per cent reoffending rate and has kept one employee from prison for a previous offence due to his work with the organisation.
Glasgow Together has been funded by an investment of more than £750,000 from Social Investment Scotland, as well as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The Robertson Trust.
An additional £1.25m has been invested through fundraising led by Triodos Bank.
Commenting on the initiative, Mackay said: “The work of Glasgow Together is a great example of the kind of innovative partnership that can have a positive social impact whilst also delivering clear economic benefits, despite the tough economic climate, particularly in the construction sector.
“This model already has a successful track record around the UK, providing ex-offenders with a pathway back into meaningful work whilst supporting a commercially sustainable business model which is delivering high quality and affordable housing.”