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Probation

Circular

NPS OFFENDER EMPLOYMENT REFERENCE NO:


TARGET 2006/07 16/2006

PURPOSE ISSUE DATE:


19 April 2006
To advise NPS Areas on the detail of the 2006/07 Employment Target and
Measure IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
3 May 2006
ACTION
EXPIRY DATE:
1. Note contents of circular. 31 March 2007
2. Ensure all relevant local stakeholders, e.g. ETE providers and
Regional Reducing Re-offending Board members, are aware of the TO:
contents Chairs of Probation Boards
3. In addition, Areas are advised to review and refine local data capture Chief Officers of Probation
systems for offender employment at the individual and aggregate Secretaries of Probation Boards
level
CC:
SUMMARY Board Treasurers
Regional Managers
This circular provides NPS Areas with details of the policy context for
offender employment and the learning from the introduction of the shadow AUTHORISED BY:
target in 2005/6. It includes the details of the 2006/07 national target and Sarah Mann
measure and the proposed monitoring arrangements. Head of Interventions Unit

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS ATTACHED:


Annex A – Template for
PC58/04 declaration in respect of
PC02/06 employment gained
Annex B – Employment target
CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES monitoring form and guidance

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 full-
year 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 Re-
Offending through Skills and Employment.

PC16/2006 – NPS Offender Employment Target 2006/07 2


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 3


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 ANNEX B

Probation Area Reporting Period


1
Male (1) Number of eligible offenders (2) Number of eligible 1 offenders
gaining confirmed 2 employment 3 completing 2 a four week period of
during the month employment 3 during the month
Race and Ethnicity (a) Orders (b) Licences (a) Orders (b) Licences
Code Description Including an With no Including an With no
UPW UPW UPW UPW
requirement requirement requirement requirement
W1 White: British
W2 White: Irish
W9 White: Other
M1 Mixed: White & Black Caribbean
M2 Mixed: White & Black African
M3 Mixed: White & Asian
M9 Mixed: Other
A1 Asian or Asian British: Indian
A2 Asian or Asian British: Pakistani
A3 Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi
A9 Asian or Asian British: Other
B1 Black or Black British: Caribbean
B2 Black or Black British: Africa
B9 Black or Black British: Other
O1 Chinese
O9 Other Ethnic Group
NS Refusal
NK Not known

(1) Number of eligible 1 offenders (2) Number of eligible 1 offenders


Female gaining confirmed 2 employment 3 completing 2 a four week period of
during the month employment 3 during the month
Race and Ethnicity (a) Orders (b) Licences (a) Orders (b) Licences
Code Description Including an With no Including an With no
UPW UPW UPW UPW
requirement requirement requirement requirement
W1 White: British
W2 White: Irish
W9 White: Other
M1 Mixed: White & Black Caribbean
M2 Mixed: White & Black African
M3 Mixed: White & Asian
M9 Mixed: Other
A1 Asian or Asian British: Indian
A2 Asian or Asian British: Pakistani
A3 Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi
A9 Asian or Asian British: Other
B1 Black or Black British: Caribbean
B2 Black or Black British: Africa
B9 Black or Black British: Other
O1 Chinese
O9 Other Ethnic Group
NS Refusal
NK Not known

1
Click here for further guidance on offender eligibility Contact Details: Name
2
Click here for further guidance on what evidence is required (of person completing the form)
3
Click here for further guidance on what is meant by employment and unemployment Telephone

Click here for the complete set of guidance E-mail

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 .
1 The target

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

2 The measure

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

3 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 .

4 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.