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Podcast / Inspiring stories
Podcast / Inspiring stories

The food industry pioneers turning prisoners’ lives around

For people coming out of prison, finding work can be a real struggle, but could the food industry hold the answer?

There is a labour crisis in the industry at the moment, with a desperate need for a larger workforce.

The Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee says chronic shortages could lead to further price rises and the UK becoming more dependent on food imports.

In fact, it says if nothing is done to address the issue, labour shortages will shrink the sector permanently.

The latest data suggests that as many as 80% of ex-prisoners are still unemployed a year after release.   

So skilling up for this sector seems like a great idea.

But with an industry which is increasingly hi-tech and forward thinking, is it possible to provide the right kind of up-to-date training and teach the right skills inside the prison walls?

Listen to the full episode to find out more about two initiatives aimed at helping people into work after prison, how they are trying to overcome some of the unique challenges, and why there is a move towards training prisoners in the latest technological advances.

Yvonne Thomas, Chief Executive, The Clink Charity

Yvonne joined The Clink Charity in January 2022 having spent her career to date in public and private sector organisations including BT, The Ministry of Justice and Interserve. 

Latterly, she has been advising organisations including charities and community interest companies, particularly those who help find people good jobs and decent accommodation. 

Much of her career has been spent trying to find ways to support people in their rehabilitation journey. 

She is also a trustee of the national charity, People, Potential, Possibilities (P3).

Charlie Guy, Co-Founder and CEO of LettUs Grow

Charlie is co-founder and CEO of LettUs Grow, an indoor farming technology company on a mission to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce, whilst increasing the sustainability and resilience of our global food system for future generations.

Charlie has led LettUs Grow’s growth from three to over 30 staff members over the last five years, overseeing strategic direction and core business development activities.

He was 2018 UK Tech Founder of the Year, Shell’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 and a finalist in the 2018 global Green Challenge sustainability award.

Charlie is a founding member of the UK Urban Agritech Advisory Board and a judge for the internationally acclaimed Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge competition.

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