MK College Bans the Box on job applications to access new talent - MK College

MK College Bans the Box on job applications to access new talent

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Candidates with a criminal record can now apply for jobs at MK College with the knowledge that they will be assessed on their ability to do the job before any convictions are fairly considered.

In signing up to the national campaign from Business in the Community they joined more than 160 employers, including the Civil Service, Boots and Ricoh, who are creating a fair chance for ex-offenders to compete for jobs and bringing down the £18 billion a year cost of reoffending[i].

Annie Allen, Chief People Officer at MK College, said: “Working within Prison Services, we appreciate the value of supporting Ban the Box to encourage individuals to apply for roles which will help improve their life chances.”

Having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50%[ii] and MK College is leading the way in offering people a chance to turn their lives around while helping to keep communities safer.

Charlotte Gibb, Business in the Community’s Campaign Manager, said: “Two thirds of employers admit to discriminating against people with criminal records but the employers we work with recognise the skills and loyalty this diverse group of people can bring to their roles. Removing the barrier of a tick box can make all the difference to someone deciding to apply to your company or not and we need more forward-thinking employers to join the campaign to help stop the cycle of reoffending.”

About Ban the Box

Business in the Community’s Ban the Box campaign calls on UK employers to remove the tick box and ask about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process – putting an end to the unfair discrimination of ex-offenders. To date, more than 145 employers with a combined workforce of about 918,000 have signed up to the campaign, including the entire Civil Service. The Ministry of Justice wants to see all companies Ban the Box and the employment of ex-offenders in the public and private sectors.

Ban the Box calls for employers to:

  • Remove the tick box asking about unspent criminal convictions from job application forms
  • Publicly commit to considering applicants’ skills, experience and ability to do the job before asking about criminal convictions

It is not calling for any changes to the checks and processes that are legally required when recruiting for “regulated” roles as defined by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), such as jobs with children or vulnerable adults. For a full list of Ban the Box employers, see:

[i] Ministry of Justice (2019) Economic and social costs of reoffending: Analytical report 
[ii] The UK government’s own Social Exclusion Unit reported that ‘employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half’, in its report  ‘Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners’ (2002)