Probation Circular

NPS OFFENDER EMPLOYMENT TARGET 2006/07
PURPOSE
To advise NPS Areas on the detail of the 2006/07 Employment Target and Measure

REFERENCE NO: 16/2006 ISSUE DATE: 19 April 2006 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: 3 May 2006 EXPIRY DATE: 31 March 2007 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Sarah Mann Head of Interventions Unit ATTACHED: Annex A – Template for declaration in respect of employment gained Annex B – Employment target monitoring form and guidance

ACTION
1. Note contents of circular. 2. Ensure all relevant local stakeholders, e.g. ETE providers and Regional Reducing Re-offending Board members, are aware of the contents 3. In addition, Areas are advised to review and refine local data capture systems for offender employment at the individual and aggregate level

SUMMARY
This circular provides NPS Areas with details of the policy context for offender employment and the learning from the introduction of the shadow target in 2005/6. It includes the details of the 2006/07 national target and measure and the proposed monitoring arrangements.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC58/04 PC02/06

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Randel.Barrows@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 020 7217 8323 Marcus.Smart@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 020 7217 0766

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

NPS Employment Target 2006/7 Purpose: To provide information on the 2006/7 target and measure for offender employment.

Introduction 1. Following the issue of PC 86/05 on the indicative targets for 2006/07 Roger Hill wrote to areas indicating that there might be a further target or measure on offender employment. This circular provides detail on the target and a linked measure.

Background

The policy context 2. Employment is one of the key reducing re-offending pathways, and there is growing evidence that a greater focus on helping offenders to find and keep gainful employment can hasten desistance from re-offending. Both the probation and prison services have introduced performance measures Employment and employability work are important adjuncts to the new Learning and Skills Council led Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS). The shadow target in 2005/6 3. The shadow employment target for 2005/6 was for 15,000 offenders into employment or qualifying vocational training for a continuous period of four- weeks or more with a robust evidence test. There have been difficulties for NPS areas in reporting against this target. Nevertheless, 37 areas reported on the target during the year and the remaining 5 areas have now progressed to a point which will enable reporting for 2006/07. 4. Final figures for achievement against the 2005/06 target will not be available until the end of April. Some projections have been undertaken on the data received to the end of January and these indicate that the fullyear effect of 42 areas reporting would be approximately 9,500 offenders into sustained employment or training. 5. The experience in specific areas illustrates how performance is improving, with many areas doubling or trebling their performance when the first and third quarters are compared. 6. The shadow year has also demonstrated that there is difficulty in including training outcomes in the employment target. Although a training outcome can be an important stepping stone towards employment it has been difficult for areas to determine and measure eligible training outcomes. The evidence for reducing re-offending rates through training interventions alone is less robust. 7. The aim of the shadow target was to measure sustainable employment outcomes by using a four-week measure. This is important in relation to monitoring sustained employment but makes data collection more difficult. In addition, there is evidence from areas that offenders can secure regular agency work but this may not provide continuous employment for four weeks. Future Developments 8. There are a number of developments that are likely to increase the focus on the employment of offenders. These include NOMS developments and in particular work on the corporate alliance; the OLASS arrangements; changes in priority groups in DWP/Jobcentre Plus and the Green Paper on Reducing ReOffending through Skills and Employment.

PC16/2006 – NPS Offender Employment Target 2006/07

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The Target & Measure for 2006/7 9. The single measure in 2005/06 will be replaced with: • • A target of 15,000 offenders placed into employment A measure of 12,000 offenders who are placed into employment and retain it for four weeks

10. The requirements for evidence have also been amended. This is currently fairly rigorous, with third-party evidence required in every case. There is now a discretionary element to the evidence requirement, with evidence recommended but not mandatory. Annex A provides a template for use with offenders who have gained employment. It is strongly recommended that Areas use a formal statement of this kind in every case where corroborating evidence is not being sought. 11. There is an important linkage between the development of ‘soft skills’ and some vocational skills in Unpaid Work placements and employability. It is intended that we capture the linkage between Unpaid Work and paid work in the monitoring of NPS employment outcomes. Finally, the monitoring will capture gender, race and ethnicity details in accordance with the overall NPS diversity monitoring strategy. 12. There has been some discussion about the allocation of the national target, with NPS areas at each end of the spectrum – those with full employment and those with high levels of unemployment – making the case for weightings in their favour. Whilst labour market conditions are an important variable, local or regional adjustments will not be made in 2006/7. That position may be reviewed in the light of experience and improved availability of data on labour market conditions. 13. Annex B to this circular is a copy of the monitoring form and guidance for 2006/07.

PC16/2006 – NPS Offender Employment Target 2006/07

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Annex A
This annex provides a template for self-declaration of employment gained. Home Office legal advice has been obtained concerning the use of a Statement of Truth of the kind exampled here. It is recommended that the requirement for a written statement of any employment gained, together with third-party evidence if required in any particular circumstances, is made explicit at the commencement of any period of supervision.

..…………… Probation Area
DECLARATION IN RESPECT OF EMPLOYMENT GAINED

I, (Full Name)…………………………………..state that for the period from (date)………… to (date)…………….. I have been engaged in continuous employment [Full time = of 16 hours per week or more] I believe that the facts stated in this document are true. By signing this declaration, I recognise that if it is found to be false, I render myself liable to disciplinary action by the Probation Service including the possibility of Breach or Recall.

Signed…………………………………….. Date………………………….

Countersigned…………………………………. Name (Printed)……………………………………………… Case/Offender Manager Date……………………………………………..

NPS Employment Target Monitoring 2006-07
Probation Area Reporting Period (1) Number of eligible offenders gaining confirmed 2 employment 3 during the month (a) Orders (b) Licences Including an With no UPW UPW requirement requirement
1

ANNEX B

Male

(2) Number of eligible 1 offenders completing 2 a four week period of employment 3 during the month (a) Orders (b) Licences Including an With no UPW UPW requirement requirement

Race and Ethnicity Code Description

W1 W2 W9 M1 M2 M3 M9 A1 A2 A3 A9 B1 B2 B9 O1 O9 NS NK

White: British White: Irish White: Other Mixed: White & Black Caribbean Mixed: White & Black African Mixed: White & Asian Mixed: Other Asian or Asian British: Indian Asian or Asian British: Pakistani Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi Asian or Asian British: Other Black or Black British: Caribbean Black or Black British: Africa Black or Black British: Other Chinese Other Ethnic Group Refusal Not known (1) Number of eligible 1 offenders gaining confirmed 2 employment 3 during the month (a) Orders (b) Licences Including an With no UPW UPW requirement requirement (2) Number of eligible 1 offenders completing 2 a four week period of employment 3 during the month (a) Orders (b) Licences Including an With no UPW UPW requirement requirement

Female
Race and Ethnicity Code Description

W1 W2 W9 M1 M2 M3 M9 A1 A2 A3 A9 B1 B2 B9 O1 O9 NS NK

White: British White: Irish White: Other Mixed: White & Black Caribbean Mixed: White & Black African Mixed: White & Asian Mixed: Other Asian or Asian British: Indian Asian or Asian British: Pakistani Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi Asian or Asian British: Other Black or Black British: Caribbean Black or Black British: Africa Black or Black British: Other Chinese Other Ethnic Group Refusal Not known

1 2 3

Click here for further guidance on offender eligibility Click here for further guidance on what evidence is required Click here for further guidance on what is meant by employment and unemployment

Contact Details:
(of person completing the form)

Name Telephone E-mail

Click here for the complete set of guidance

Please return to:

NPD.DATA@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Eligible Dates • Period of supervision. The offender must have gained employment during the period covered by the order or licence. If employment is gained after the order or licence period expires it cannot count towards the target. For the measure, the 4 week period must be completed during the period of supervision. • Year endings. To count towards the target in 2006/7, an offender must gain employment between the 1st April 2006 and 31st March 2007. For the measure the period of 4 weeks employment must be completed between the 1st April 2006 and 31st March 2007. Who counts • All offenders subject to a prison release licence or a court order supervised by the National Probation Service. One claim per offender for the target or measure or both in any 12-month period can be made.

What evidence is required? The minimum evidence required is a statement from the offender. A written statement is recommended , and a copy should be kept with the case file. Further evidence should be sought whenever the offender manager has any doubts, particularly where gaining employment is given as a reason to avoid something else in the Sentence Plan (e.g. Accredited Programme). Areas may also wish to seek evidence when scarce resources are being allocated e.g. Weekend Unpaid Work placements, evening Accredited Programmes. Additional evidence could include a payslip, confirmation from a job agency, or confirmation from the employer. This list is not exhaustive and there may be other sources of evidence not listed here.

What is meant by employment? • This includes self-employment, agency work and part-time working for at least 16 hours a week.

What is meant by unemployment.? • The target aims to track a change in the offender status whilst on supervision. Offenders who are already employed when their order starts and remain in employment through-out their period of supervision cannot count towards the target. • Unemployment’ means a period of ‘economic inactivity’ where the offender is claiming Job Seekers Allowance or other benefits or being financially supported by family or friends or has no visible means of financial support. • Offenders who are employed at the start of supervision and subsequently lose that employment but then gain further employment can count .

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The target • 15,000 unemployed offenders in England and Wales to gain confirmed employment

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The measure • 12,000 unemployed offenders in England and Wales to gain confirmed employment for a period of at least 4 weeks

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What counts as a contribution to the target? Eligible Dates • Period of supervision. The offender must have gained employment during the period covered by the order or licence. If employment is gained after the order or licence period expires it cannot count towards the target. For the measure, the 4 week period must be completed during the period of supervision. Year endings. To count towards the target in 2006/7, an offender must gain employment between the 1st April 2006 and 31st March 2007. For the measure the period of 4 weeks employment must be st st completed between the 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007.

Who counts • All offenders subject to a prison release licence or a court order supervised by the National Probation Service. One claim per offender for the target or measure or both in any 12-month period can be made.

What is meant by employment? • This includes self-employment, agency work and part-time working for at least 16 hours a week.

What is meant by unemployment.? • The target aims to track a change in the offender status whilst on supervision. Offenders who are already employed when their order starts and remain in employment through-out their period of supervision cannot count towards the target. 'Unemployment’ means a period of ‘economic inactivity’ where the offender is claiming Job Seekers Allowance or other benefits or being financially supported by family or friends or has no visible means of financial support. Offenders who are employed at the start of supervision and subsequently lose that employment but then gain further employment can count .

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What evidence is required? • The minimum evidence required is a statement from the offender. A written statement is recommended, and a copy should be kept with the case file. Further evidence should be sought whenever the offender manager has any doubts, particularly where gaining employment is given as a reason to avoid something else in the Sentence Plan (e.g. Accredited Programme). Areas may also wish to seek evidence when scarce resources are being allocated e.g. Weekend Unpaid Work placements, evening Accredited Programmes. Additional evidence could include a payslip, confirmation from a job agency, or confirmation from the employer. This list is not exhaustive and there may be other sources of evidence not listed here.