Bouygues, Bam back ex-offenders into construction plan

Reconstruct Programme
Image: Dreamstime/Nadya So

Construction businesses in Wales and the South West are being urged to help people with convictions embark on a career in the industry.   

Recruitment consultant Acorn by Synergie has launched a new scheme in partnership with three Welsh prisons and HMP Bristol to offer those nearing the end of their sentence the potential to secure employment in construction. 

The Reconstruct Programme supports people in the last 12 weeks of their sentence, who have shown willingness and an interest in securing a construction role, to equip themselves with the motivation and practical skills they need to re-enter the world of work. 

The new scheme already has the backing of companies including Bouygues UKWillmott DixonISG and Bam, alongside support from homeless charity The Wallich.

Lawrence Beach, client development director at Acorn, said: “We’ve been working to place people with convictions into employment here at Acorn by Synergie for a number of years now, with outcomes for both clients and candidates proving increasingly successful as a result.  

“The individuals we’ve been working with have an incredible amount of potential and, in many cases, existing skills that come as a real asset to the businesses they end up working with once their sentences come to an end. 

“We hope now that by creating an ever wider collective of like-minded organisations across Wales and the South West, we can give confidence to even more people that there is a chance for them to succeed and put something back into their communities following their time in prison, through the launch of the Reconstruct Programme.” 

Comprehensive support 

Monthly visits from the Acorn by Synergie team to HMP Swansea, HMP Cardiff, HMP Prescoed and HMP Bristol will take the form of face-to-face sessions establishing the skills, motivations and geographical areas relevant to individuals attending the programme ahead of their release. 

Businesses interested in the scheme can get involved at no cost and without any obligation to employ anyone via Acorn by Synergie. 

Beach added: “We appreciate that successful recruitment, particularly in the construction sector, often relies on the timescales and location involved, and really feel that by pulling together we can help give both sides a better chance at securing gainful employment in the process. 

“Acorn by Synergie also carries out the front-end work on behalf of businesses involved, having already made it our responsibility to visit the prisons included in the Reconstruct Programme and working with teams to get them work ready in the first place.” 

“So, the only commitment a company has is to be open minded regarding candidates who might have the necessary skills in place, or be looking for work in the geographical area involved, when it comes to any vacancies they might have available." 

To find out more about the Reconstruct Programme, visit

This article first appeared on CIOB People.

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