Inmates get jobs at Bernard Matthews turkey factory to fill vacancies

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Make bird! Inmates get jobs at Bernard Matthews turkey factory to fill vacancies as part of government campaign to rehabilitate criminals

  • Nearly 100 prisoners or former prisoners work in the poultry and hotel industries
  • Manpower collection is part of government initiative to rehabilitate criminals
  • Turkey Producer Bernard Matthews and Greene King Advertising Channel Attend










Turkey farmer Bernard Matthews has recruited prisoners to fill vacancies and ensure the birds reach tables this Christmas.

Nearly 100 inmates or former inmates work in the poultry and hospitality industry as part of a government campaign to rehabilitate criminals.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the meat processing industry has 14,000 vacancies, or about 15 percent of the workforce. This means that companies have been keen to link up with prisoners on their daytime release to help fill in the gaps.

Nearly 100 inmates or former inmates (archive photo used) work in the poultry and hospitality industry as part of a government campaign to rehabilitate criminals

Bernard Matthews employs nine prisoners and six former inmates at his Norwich factory.

Training Manager Bryan Hurst said: “The work we do with HMP Norwich gives people the opportunity to change their lives.

“Not only does it help them, but it reduces recidivism. It also benefits us tremendously as a company because these people are reliable, work extremely hard and really appreciate this opportunity. ‘

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab recently unveiled a white paper on prison strategy that re-commits the government to helping inmates gain education and skills to reduce the risk of reoffending.

Research by the Department of Justice indicates that inmates who find work after release are up to 9% less likely to reoffend.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the meat processing industry (pictured in a file photo) has 14,000 vacancies, or about 15% of the workforce.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the meat processing industry (pictured in a file photo) has 14,000 vacancies, or about 15% of the workforce.

Pub and brewery distribution chain Greene King is also participating in the campaign to recruit offenders.

It has taken 79 prisoners since 2019 and employed eight more this month.

Graham Briggs, Head of Learning, said: “At Greene King, we believe it is important to focus on an individual’s future and potential, not their past.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Ministry of Justice, which offers career opportunities to those released on temporary license and released from prison.

“These opportunities will help individuals move forward in life, become valued team members, have the stability of a stable income, and build careers.”

National pub chain Greene King is also involved in the delinquent recruitment drive (file photo used)

National pub chain Greene King is also involved in the delinquent recruitment drive (file photo used)

The new strategy will allow counselors to help offenders find work in prisons or outside while on bail.

Employers will interview detainees by video link and there will be “job centers” in prisons.

There will also be more computers in cells to allow detainees under control to attend training or education courses online as well as keep in touch with their families.

Prisons with cell-based technology will drop from four to 11 by next summer.

All detainees will receive “resettlement” passports which will serve as CVs and record their education, skills, drug treatment, accommodation and family ties.

Mr Raab said: “Employers like Greene King and Bernard Matthews are leading the way in training prisoners and giving them jobs to prevent crime upon release.”

“As part of our new strategy, more prisons will work with local businesses to help fill vacancies and reduce crime.”


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