Iceland in drive to recruit ex-offenders
Iceland has appointed a director of rehabilitation who is actively looking to recruit ex-offenders to work in the supermarket’s stores and warehouses.
Paul Cowley is himself an ex-offender, who spent six months in Risley Prison before later founding Caring for Ex-Offenders in 2005, a charity said to have helped over 2,000 men and women reintegrate into society.
Between the prison sentence and setting up the charity, he spent 17 years in the army.
Cowley announced his new role at Iceland in a tweet last week, while also appealing for ex-offenders to fill posts. “If you are interested in ex-offenders, getting them back into employment, then get in touch,” he said, adding: “Iceland are now starting employing ex-offenders in their 1000+ stores [and] warehouses around the UK.”
Iceland MD Richard Walker tweeted: “Paul is a legend. We’re massively excited to have him onboard, helping us to give people a second chance.”
Cowley is also a Church of England priest, who in 2016 was awarded an MBE for services to ex-offenders.
Cowley introduced the Christian ‘Alpha’ course to UK and international prison systems in the 1990s.
In 2016, he was appointed bishops’ advisor for prisons and penal affairs in London and in 2020 he published an autobiography titled Thief Prisoner Soldier Priest.
Well-known for recruiting ex-offenders is Timpson, now one of the largest employers of ex-offenders in the UK. James Timpson OBE, CEO of Timpson believes that “Employment is a key factor in helping people to live crime free lives. It has been proven that if people have somewhere to live, a support network and a full-time job their chance of re-offending are greatly reduced.”