ISS helps with ex-offenders

ISS Facility Services Landscaping has launched a scheme to employ ex-offenders among its parks maintenance teams.

The programme, a partnership between social enterprise organisation Blue Sky and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, aims to cut the number of repeat offenders in the borough.

It follows a pilot scheme last year which saw ISS Landscaping employ five young ex-offenders to carry out the firm's council contract work over a six-month period. ISS has now extended their contracts for a further 12 months.

Managing director Phil Jones explained that the recruits would be integrated into teams cutting grass and planting trees in parks and cemeteries.

He added: "This is our way of giving something back to the community. It's not just about the job - it can change home lives and family prospects."

Jones said the firm planned to roll the programme out across the country from this summer and would be approaching local authorities it has contracts with. "It may be a slow process because we need to identify appropriate areas. But this is a long-term commitment to help reduce re-offending," he said.

Windsor and Maidenhead's representative for adult and community services Simon Dudley said the programme offered a practical approach to getting low-risk ex-offenders back into jobs. "The pilot worked well and I am delighted that we are now able to offer permanent employment on ISS contracts."

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