World-leading metal recycler EMR has invested £40,000 in a new workshop facility at HMP Forest Bank, providing key skills and employment opportunities to prisoners as they prepare for release.

Offering an introduction to the recycling industry within the Sodexo operated prison, offenders have the opportunity to join a unique team removing tyres from wheel rims, a vital step in the process of sustainably recycling end-of-life vehicles. 

Over 1,500 tyres are separated per week, ensuring that the material can be re-used or recycled and contributing to EMR’s mission to be a global leader in sustainable materials.

The workshop opened in 2021 following months of planning by Sodexo and EMR, with both parties working in partnership to deliver in-house training, support, and educational opportunities. 

In addition to vocational opportunities, workshop members are also supported in CV writing and the development of interview skills – qualities that are fundamental to ensuring effective rehabilitation. 
EMR is also keen to offer employment opportunities to those individuals who demonstrate a high level of commitment and the right attitude during their time at the workshop to begin the process of rebuilding their lives after completing their sentence. 

Home to several industries, HMP Forest Bank incorporates a range of workshops replicating a working environment, where prisoners can improve their work skills, employment chances and even gain vocational qualifications prior to release.

HMP Forest Bank Director, Ian Whiteside said: 

The resettlement of prisoners back into the community is at the heart of everything we do at HMP Forest Bank and the partnership with EMR is a fantastic opportunity to support that rehabilitation and bring positive change. Our external partnerships are vital in ensuring that those offenders leaving prison have the support they need to turn their backs on crime for good.

Rowland Cooper, Director of Human Resources at EMR, said:

I’m really proud of the EMR site at HMP Forest Bank, which is already helping to sustainably process the wheels and tyres from thousands of end-of-life vehicles. Just as importantly, we are providing prisoners with valuable skills and a chance to return to the world of work with a foot in the door of the recycling industry.  We’d like to thank Sodexo who, alongside providing a team of committed employees to run the busy site, has also built and prepared a modern workshop facility.
 

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