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Virgin hires thirty former prison inmates for revenue staff

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185

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Apologies if this should technically come under jobs/recruitment threads, however it was the start of a minor debate during tea-break last night. In the latest Railstaff, there is an article relating to Virgin hiring a number of ex-offenders who have all served time for the post of Revenue Protection Officer.

Whilst some colleagues agreed it is a great thing that ex-offenders are given a fresh start, others disagreed on a number of matters - truly split opinion.

I'm assuming it may have already been raised on here as unbeknown to me, the Evening Standard carried this article last month, however I just wonder what opinion was on here.

Support raised was-
'It's a fresh start for them, surely they need to be rehabilitated, if they don't they will re-offend!'
'Got to give them something to go straight for'
'Great thing Branston (sic) is doing'

Concerns raised were -
'our job is the identical job to what Virgin staff do, we have to have a completely clean enhanced CRB check, some got binned off during the training course for motoring offences 15 years ago' etc
'another PR gimmick from Beardie'
'if they (offenders) are booking people up for fare evasion, how can a judge take the word of a recently (within 3 years) convicted & jailed criminal over a passenger perhaps with none?'
'would you trust them handling £6k in cash?'
'Ah so that's how you get a job with them? shall I go beat up a granny and do the local post office?'

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/tran...p-businesses-employ-exoffenders-a3301661.html

Certainly is a talking point. Awful camera phone picture of the Railstaff article...
 

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Trog

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BR used to hire ex-offenders back in the day, I suppose it was easier for Government to lean on them to do it than private industry.

A colleague was traveling to site in the cab of a gang bus when they were stopped by the Police who had noticed that they had a dead tail light. After promising to get it fixed they were allowed to continue, and drove on to the site. On reaching the site they went round to the back of the bus to get the men out, and found that the safety window had been popped, and that the gang had disappeared never to be seen again.
 

Agent_c

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Sounds like some of the usual uninformed break room grumbling. Whilst some of it is certainly fair comment, others not so much.

The issue with other staff who "failed" CRB checks isn't likely to so much be that they had a driving offence, but probably more that it wasn't disclosed.

I doubt we're talking about murderers, fraudster or rapists. There are many reasons why someone can end up in prison. Provided it wasn't for any of those offences then I see no reason why someone should be automatically excluded, but instead looked at in the totality of the circumstances.
 

PaulLothian

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I have a feeling that this story says more about the self-promotional tendencies of certain businesses and their leaders than it does about employment of ex-offenders...

Not exactly new news - many businesses and organisations in the UK have operated similar policies for many years, including the one where I work.
 

185

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The issue with other staff who "failed" CRB checks isn't likely to so much be that they had a driving offence, but probably more that it wasn't disclosed.

They did not disclose as their assumption was that offences over 10 years are automatically 'spent', however for the revenue job, it demanded a 'completely clean enhanced CRB only, as the job involves the administration of justice'... ie providing witness statements TIRs MG11s etc
 

PaulLothian

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The Railstaff article: http://www.railstaff.uk/2016/08/19/tammy-tackles-right-side-of-the-law/


Virgin Trains has come up with a toolkit for businesses which offers practical advice on hiring ex-offenders.
In the past three years, Virgin Trains on the west coast has hired 30 ex-offenders of which 25 still work for the company in roles across the business.
The rail industry has been helping ex- offenders a lot longer, with many finding gainful employment as track workers and engineers. Give an ex-convict a job and a place to stay and the likelihood of she or he re-offending drops dramatically.
Not a single ex-offender employee or candidate in the talent pool at Virgin Trains has re-offended and the company is looking to hire more. The Virgin Trains toolkit covers the company’s experiences from when it initially set up the programme three years ago.
Tammy Moreton, 23, from Birmingham is now working for Virgin Trains on the other side of the law as a revenue protection inspector after spending two years in and out of prison...
 
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WatcherZero

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That's an impressive rate of staff retention even for normal hires, nevermind for ex-cons.

Good on them.
 

bb21

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So how many of the ex-offenders are actually working in revenue roles?

Judging by some of the outrage one would think all of them, but patently not.
 

AlterEgo

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I have a feeling that this story says more about the self-promotional tendencies of certain businesses and their leaders than it does about employment of ex-offenders...

Not exactly new news - many businesses and organisations in the UK have operated similar policies for many years, including the one where I work.

Probably true. Virgin love a good PR stunt.

Nonetheless it's good to see ex-offenders being given a second chance. I'm in California at the moment, where no second chances are offered. I know which society I prefer to live in.
 

matt_world2004

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Many of them probably have been convicted for travelling on virgin trains on a complicated but valid ticket :D
 

Kentish Paul

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I believe in days gone by that some of the carriage cleaners at Ashford were actual inmates from the prison (open?) at Aldington. There was a piece in the local paper about it. Again a rehabilitation exercise at the end of sentence.
Not sure if this was pre or post privatisation.
 

Tetchytyke

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So how many of the ex-offenders are actually working in revenue roles?

Judging by some of the outrage one would think all of them, but patently not.

And even if they were, I don't really care. I think it's great to see Virgin taking a chance on people.

I criticise Virgin a lot, so fair play to them when they do something like this.
 
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