For anyone who has spent some time out of employment, getting back into work is no easy feat. The marketplace is moving faster than ever, so even experienced professionals have to adapt.

In that way, it may feel like you are alone. In reality, everyone is having to adapt to increasing automation, with almost half of all working adults considering switching careers.

Your best bet is to find a new career path and consider those industries which are thriving, rather than declining. Combined with the increasing number of remote jobs, retraining into the world of online and digital work will set you up for life.

Also, if you have a criminal record that certain employers will see as being incoherent with some roles, such as if it is customer-facing, training to take on remote work removes that barrier.

You may be able to find funding to acquire equipment through this trust.

How to find training

If you feel ready to prepare for a new line of work, you have a great chance of finding a new career.

Every year, new organisations create opportunities to assist ex-offenders in finding the training they need to reach their future potential. Many are even now situated within prisons to ensure a straight line to work upon release.

Prisoner Education Solutions offer a range of training courses, in the likes of Construction, Fitness Training and Barbering. These courses provide qualifications up to Level 3, which is the equivalent to A Levels.

If a role within the construction industry sounds like something you would excel in, Bounce Back is a training provider who specialises in all the different skills associated with construction, including decorating, scaffolding and more.

If you are a woman and an ex-offender, Working Chance is the leading organisation in helping to retrain and guide you for the working world. With 58% of women re-offending within a year of release, those who reach out to Working Chance reduce those chances to less than 4%.

Tips on Interviews

When looking for work, your approach to the application process can make you stand out from the crowd and get you the job.

If you have been out of work for some time, there are some techniques for explaining that absence. This does not mean being dishonest. An employer conducting interviews has likely done so hundreds or thousands of times; they can spot a lie straight away. As tempting as it might be, an employer won’t give you a second chance if they think you are lying.

Instead, consider these tips:

  • If asked, explain your past wage in relation to a standard, such as the minimum wage. If you suggest that your last wage was ‘just above minimum’, you are not making yourself stand out negatively.
  • Ask to discuss your criminal record in the interview, rather than trying to explain on paper, or simply stating that you have one, as the employer may assume the extremes.
  • Find skills or experience that are transferrable and concentrate on them. You may not have any directly relevant work experience, but that’s okay. Your employer will be looking for the skills you do possess that can be transferred into the role.

For more general guidance on approaching an interview, see our page on interview tips.

If you need support writing a CV or cover letter, read our Document Library.