Through the Gate: employment support for ex-offenders

Here at Aspire we’re not fussed about your past – we just want to work with you in the present to help you build yourself a better future. We've been working with people who are in custody or have recently left prison for years, and we can give you the specialist support needed to find employment, training, work experience or education. Most importantly of all, we'll give you a very warm welcome.

Aspire's Through the Gate employment support is available in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Reading and Slough, and we currently work with HMP Bullingdon, HMP Spring Hill and HMP Wood Hill prisons.

Here's what we can offer:

If you've been released from custody, we will:

  • Give you access to real work experience on our enterprise businesses (Oxfordshire)
  • Help you find work placements with local employers
  • Give you tailored, one-to-one support to improve your employability: including training courses, CV writing and confidence building
  • Help you get qualifications, access training and cover your expenses
  • Help you find paid employment opportunities
  • Support you with any other challenges you may have around housing, debt or family issues

While you're still in custody, we will:

  • Meet you inside before your release to help you plan for the future - this can include work experience on Aspire enterprise teams while on Release on Temporary Licence if in HMP Spring Hill.
  • Help you set in place a constructive, positive routine to put into practice on your release.
  • Work with you to address other challenges you may be facing upon your release.

TJ's story:

TJ first met Project Manager Christine in HMP Bullingdon when he was coming to the end of his custodial sentence. TJ came to Aspire for a trial day when he was released and really enjoyed the experience. TJ signed up for the construction training at Aspire and was also given support to get his provisional driving licence alongside health & safety training. TJ continued to gain work experience on Aspire's enterprise businesses and started to build up his confidence. 

TJ was referred to University College in August 2017 and was offered a six month contract doing caretaking work across the college. In February 2018 he was offered a permanent contract there, and continues to thrive.

With all the support I've received from Aspire staff, I feel hopeful about my future


Get in touch

For Oxfordshire Through the Gate referrals, please call: 01865 204450 

For Milton Keynes Through the Gate employment support, please call: 07717 893585

For High Wycombe Through the Gate employment support, please call: 07395 793649

For Reading or Slough Through the Gate employment support, please call: 07395 791494

Alternatively you can email [email protected] and one of our Through the Gate team will get back to you.

No queues, no appointments, no hoops to jump through - we just want to help you build yourself a better future.

Photo credit: Howard Stanbury for The Funding Network