Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global and Impellam Global Managed Services appointed Employment Advisory Board Chair for Chelmsford Prison
Alexa Bradbury

5 minutes

Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global and Impellam Global Managed Services appointed Employment Advisory Board Chair for Chelmsford Prison

Guidant Global and Impellam Global Managed Services CEO, Simon Blockley has been appointed as Employment Advisory Chair of His Majesty's Prison (HMP) and Young Offenders Institute (YOI) Chelmsford. His appointment will see Simon steering employment strategy, helping get prisoners job ready and encourage local businesses to engage with the prison.

The appointment is part of a wider UK government New Futures Network initiative, designed to create 91 Employment Advisory Boards (EABs), to connect employers with resettlement prisons. Spearheaded by James Timpson through the Timpson Foundation, each Board has appointed a local business expert to act as Chair, as well as offer advice and guide prisons on the local employment landscape.

Simon is an ideal candidate for this employment advisory role. He is a recognised staffing industry leader and has appeared on SIA’s Staffing 100 Europe list, which recognises outstanding contribution to take the recruitment industry forward, for six consecutive years. He is Chief Executive Officer of Impellam’s Global Managed Services portfolio, which includes the Guidant Global, Comensura and Flexy brands and provides a diverse range of digitally enabled, multidisciplinary workforce solutions to organisations around the world. 

An Essex-born native, Simon resides in Ingatestone, just 10 minutes’ drive from Chelmsford, jumped at the chance to support his local community by chairing the prison’s Employment Advisory Board. Speaking of his appointment, Simon comments: 

“At Impellam, we believe in the power of work. Through the power of work, we build better businesses and help people lead more fulfilling lives. I am extremely proud to work for an organisation that is committed to driving social value in the communities we serve. In my new role as EAB Chair, I will spearhead the campaign to get Chelmsford’s prison leavers into stable jobs so they can break the cycle of crime.

Prison Employment Advisory Boards, play a vital role in our society and economy because prison leavers with a job are much less likely to reoffend. They are crucial in tackling the £18 billion cost of reoffending, cutting crime and boosting public protection, as ex-offenders in steady jobs within 6 months of leaving prison are nine percentage points less likely to commit further crime. I’m looking forward to the challenge and to acting as a link between Chelmsford prison and employers in the region.” 

Garry Newnes, Governor of HMP Chelmsford since 2021, is also pleased to have Simon on board and looks forward to expanding links with a vibrant business network: 

“Having someone with Simon’s background and expertise in the employment sector on-board is a real boost to the prison. We need more employers to be open-minded when it comes to hiring ex-offenders. Surveys have shown that employers believe the ex-offenders they employ are “motivated, reliable, good at their jobs and trustworthy, with over 80% of employers of ex-offenders having positively rated their reliability, motivation, attendance, and performance.

Despite this positive endorsement, negative stereotypes of ex-offenders prevail, and we need to proactively change these perceptions to help match more serving and former prisons with suitable jobs. I am confident that the Employment Advisory Board, led by Simon Blockley will open more doors and create exciting opportunities for partnership within the business community.” 

Employer Engagement Event - May 11th 2023

One of the first initiatives Simon will oversee, in collaboration with Rebecca Coughlan, Prison Employment Lead at Chelmsford Prison is an Employer Engagement Event, taking place on May 11th to help create links between HMP Chelmsford and the local business community to provide a better future for ex-offenders. To find out more and register please visit: https://forms.office.com/e/pCBf3AwMqC

Tap into the potential of Prison LeaversImpellam Group’s support for the prison Employment Advisory Board initiative and local communities is further evidenced by the involvement of two additional senior executives. Hoa Ngo, Managing Director of Comensura UK is Chair of the EAB for HMP and YOI Drake Hall, a progressive resettlement prison that promotes a culture of hope and aspiration to the women it serves, while Joscelin Conrad, Impellam’s Group Director of Investments & Innovation is a Board Advisor at Downview Women’s Prison and Young Offender Institution in Surrey. 

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