Ex-Cons In Construction Not Considered

Negative stigma and a lack of proper training opportunities are blocking many ex-cons from earning a second chance at life within the construction industry, a Chartered Institute of Building report has revealed.

The CIOB report, called Building Opportunity: Employing People with Criminal Convictions in Construction, shows individuals with a criminal record face significant barriers to gaining employment within the industry including perceived risk to the business by employers and fears about business reputation.

It urges the government to break down barriers and provide more accessible training opportunities to improve employability and ease the skills shortage in the construction industry.



Statistics show nearly 75 per cent of people leaving prison are still without work six months after their release. CIOB says breaking down barriers would lower unemployment amongst people with criminal convictions. Meanwhile, the government estimates the current cost of re-offending is approximately £18 billion per year.

Niamh Evans, a policy and public affairs officer at CIOB, said more people within the industry should consider an open-minded approach to hiring people looking for a fresh start. She says: “Construction companies across the UK are facing a labour shortage and there is an untapped market of potential candidates waiting to be unearthed.

“However, negative stigma and a lack of access to proper training for people in prison means there are many people missing out on a second chance in life.

“Companies can proactively show they are willing to consider applicants with a criminal record by making this known on their website and teaming up with organisations that support people with criminal convictions to find work.

“While there are some training opportunities available for people with criminal convictions, we would like to see improved access to give more candidates a chance to develop their skills.”



CIOB’s research shows just 25 per cent of construction managers surveyed would consider hiring a person with an unspent criminal conviction – despite the sector facing a significant labour crisis.

Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they would not consider hiring someone with an unspent criminal conviction while 43 per cent said they might.


More than 12 million people in the UK currently have a criminal record with hundreds of thousands of convictions remaining unspent – so candidates must declare their convictions when applying for a job.

To read the report – Click Here

Picture: A CIOB report has revealed the construction industry’s reluctance to hire people with criminal convictions.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
14th March 2024


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