Introducing Choose Employability’s Probation Service support

Shaping Portsmouth are always exploring ways in which we can support the wider community.

As part of our Choose Employability programme, our Education & Community Lead Kirsty Hill has partnered with the Probation Service to look at ways that the Portsmouth Business community can offer guidance and support to individuals that are currently being supported by the probation service and Individuals who may be looking for a more tailored and bespoke pathway back into the world of training and both paid and unpaid employment.

Offenders face stigma as they seek social adaptation back to the community, largely orchestrated by ostracism and fear of family and community at large for safety and reoffending. They may experience difficulty finding housing, employment, returning to learning institutions, and other social-economic initiatives towards personal and social development. With this in mind Kirsty has been working closely with the team at Probation to create a stringent criteria and process which we hope will provide all those involved in this programme with a clear understanding of what to expect and the level of support we are able to offer here at Shaping Portsmouth.

Kirsty said “After several meetings, conversations and plenty of research it became clear very quickly where the gaps are in regard to supporting Probation Individuals. We have an opportunity to create a pathway that is tailored for the individual, their experiences and requirements rather than them accessing the mainstream approach of support.

“The status of being an employed person acts as an important symbol to the individual of their ability to return successfully to a conventional life however, finding work with a criminal record is no easy task. We are committed to try and reduce some of the stigma associated with having a criminal record and hope that we can provide experience and support to enable individuals’ having better access to paid employment promoting self-esteem helping them to build a renewed and positive sense of self, which helps to protect against a return to crime.”

If you or your organisation have an interest in supporting us with this programme or would like to learn more, please do contact us at