A HOYLAND-based construction company that has taken on 12 ex-offenders has urged other businesses across the borough to give 'people a chance'.

According to the Ministry of Justice, only 17 per cent of prisoners leave prison with a job and half of employers say they cannot see the value in employing someone who has been in prison.

Construction specialist Cidon, of Mason Way, is bucking the trend with the support of Seetec Justice, which helps to rehabilitate former offenders.

The partnership started back in 2018 after Stephen Simpson, director at Cidon, heard a radio discussion about helping ex-offenders to rehabilitate, find work, access housing and break the cycle of crime.

Stephen said: “At Cidon we take our corporate social responsibility initiatives seriously.

“When the opportunity arose to look at employing ex-offenders, we felt it would be the right thing to do as, when we’re in the position to do so, we want to be able to give people from all backgrounds a chance.

“More businesses like us need to get involved, we’re only a very small cog in a huge wheel.

“If we can take 12 ex-offenders in the space of 18 months, then a lot can be done. It’s important to educate other business leaders about the benefits of employing ex-offenders.”