James Timpson Thought Piece

A few words from James Timpson

James Timpson

At Timpson, we know how lucky we are to have a successful business, however, we believe that with success comes a great deal of responsibility. The Timpson Foundation specialises in the training and recruitment of marginalised groups within society, predominantly ex-offenders, as well as supporting numerous other socially minded projects.

In 2002, I visited a prison in the North West of England, where I met a young man named Matt. Matt was intelligent and articulate and I liked him immediately. I thought he would make an excellent addition to our business. When he was released from prison I offered him a job and I am pleased to report that Matt has gone on to become one of our most successful branch managers.  At this point, I realised there must be more great people in our prisons, and from that moment on, Timpson’s decided to pro-actively recruit ex-offenders into our business.

We are very proud to say that Timpson is now one of the largest employers of ex-offenders in the UK. Approximately 10% of our workforce is made up of people who have criminal convictions. We believe in giving people a second chance, we don’t judge people on what they have done in the past, preferring instead to focus on what they can do in the future. All of the ex-offenders we recruit are risk-assessed and provide us with full disclosure during interview. This means we can make an informed decision about who we employ. Our existing colleagues have generously embraced this scheme and it has become embedded into the Timpson culture.

The vast majority of ex-offenders we recruit are extremely loyal, productive, hardworking and make excellent colleagues. Many have been promoted and fully grasped the second chance they have been given. To put it simply, recruiting ex-offenders has been great for our business.  Currently, there are approximately 10 million people in the UK with a criminal conviction and at Timpson we believe it is madness to throw such a large section of society on the employment scrapheap. By carefully selecting the right individuals to work in our business, we have enabled thousands of ex-offenders to have a second chance in life and go on to have rewarding careers.

Often, other employers don’t realise they can be missing out on some very talented, hardworking individuals. Their loss is our gain. Currently, our retention rate for colleagues who we have recruited from prison or who have a criminal conviction is approximately 75%. This means that the vast majority of colleagues that we employ from prison do not re-offend. Prisons and re-offending cost the UK tax payer approximately £15billion per year. We believe that by offering people an alternative to crime and enabling them to break the offending cycle, we can make a real difference in society. Statistics prove that employment can be a significant factor in reducing re-offending, which is good news for all of us.

"Often, other employers don’t realise they can be missing out on some very talented, hardworking individuals."

James Timpson, Timpson
CEO

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