…Everyone has a past and deserves a second chance. If they have the right attitude, turn up for work on time and put in the hard graft then we will give anyone a chance.”

We speak to the JAD Joinery Ltd. team about our new campaign, smart justice in action: employability. The campaign is aimed at SMEs across Scotland. Our goal is to communicate the benefits of employing people with convictions and start to challenge some of the perceived barriers.

So, JAD Joinery tell us about your team…

Our Apprentices work harder than anyone else; they are first on site and last to leave. On their first day we give them a tool kit worth a decent amount of money, and we give them JAD clothing. We do have strict rules – 3 strikes and you’re out – but we give our boys purpose and trust and we get rewarded for it.

We have a good set up here, it’s hard work but we have fun. Our Apprentices have to meet our high standards and they are assessed on timekeeping, attitude, working with others and their commitment. We track that and each month our best apprentice wins a new tool for their kit. We also reward our apprentice of the year with a holiday for two to Ibiza – we know that a bit of healthy competition works! And, we pay decent money, more per hour than the government says we have to. Our boys work with us and over the years we give them all the skills they need to earn much more.

We aim to have 120 apprentices soon and a conviction is not going to get in the way of us giving them a chance. It’s up to them to take that chance and make something of themselves.

What does success look like?  

We have seen boys come right out of their shell, gain confidence and become part of our team. We create a sense of belonging and we’re father figures to a lot of them. We are strict, but a bit of discipline and boundaries are positive. We’ve had letters from mums thanking us for turning their boys into men – and thankful that they’ve found a path, earning square money and taking pride in their work.

We don’t get any funding to do our apprentice programme – we do it because it makes good business sense, but It’s not just us that benefits, or the boys – it’s their families too. We’ve had pictures drawn by wee lassies about their dads working for us. We’re a real team here.

Do you have any advice for other employers?

What advice would I give other employers who don’t recruit people because of a conviction? I would say have you never made a mistake in your life? I would also say that’s a false economy. You have to look deeper and think beyond your prejudices. If you give a person somewhere to belong and something to lose, they’ll give you loyalty and hard work – and your business will reap the benefits.

  • Find out more about our new campaign, smart justice in action: employability here.

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