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Unlocked graduate scheme – Bring Out The Leader in You, Whilst Reforming Prisons

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Written by Faizan Patankar

Let’s say you are running a company that build phones.

However, 46% of your phones are returned within the first 12 months.

And it cost your business £15bn in 2015?

You would try and change something, wouldn’t you?

Now imagine, those statistics I mentioned are TRUE FACTS with regards to the reoffending problem in the UK.

Reoffending cost the UK taxpayer £15 bn in 2015. Unlocked is a new graduate scheme trying to change that!Click To Tweet

According to the charity Unlocked,

  • 46% of adult prisoners are reconvicted within 12 months of their release.
  • 60% of prisoners serving less than 12 months are reconvicted within a year.
  • Reoffending cost the UK taxpayer £15 bn in 2015 – in detecting, sentencing and imprisoning offenders who have already been through the system at least once.

In any other walks of life, this is an industry calling out to be disrupted. I mean, think about it, when was the last time you read about a truly different approach to tradition prison schemes?

When was the last time you read about a truly different approach to tradition prison schemes? Unlocked - changes thatClick To Tweet

This sector is calling out for disruption. Something has to change.

…and that brings me the opportunity to introduce Unlocked graduate scheme.

Unlocked is a charity, established with the explicit aim of attracting high-calibre graduate talent to work in the UK prison service and inject new ideas, insights and energy into the rehabilitation of prisons: to lead subtle changes on the inside that deliver huge benefits on the outside. Read more about Unlocked.

Unlocked are offering a two-year leadership development programme aimed at training graduates to become inspirational and supportive leaders. Serving as a prison officer, you’ll build these skills through a bespoke training programme, alongside working with prisoners to identify and implement actions and strategies that will help them break the cycle of reoffending.

So, can I work for Unlocked?

Unlocked graduate salary

Yes, you can.

If you are passionate about making a change, and truly mean it, not the corporate mumble jumble. Then Unlocked is for you.

It is a two-year leadership programme and from what I’ve read, you will gain some fantastic experience. Whilst at the same time add value and a different perspective to Prison service.

In my opinion, this is a good scheme. Graduates will get unbelievable experience.

And a different perspective could actually help the Prison service.

Things don’t have to be the same, and maybe graduates with their fresher and different thinking could actually make the change that prison service is calling out for.

Somebody has to disrupt the sector, and if Unlocked graduate scheme can do that, I am all supportive of that.

But, what do I get as part of the Unlocked graduate scheme?

I know, I know, you do want to know what’s in it for you.

Unlocked have helpfully explained that on their Unlocked programme overview. But here’s the key summary.

  • Accelerated leadership development training
  • Fully funded master’s degree (PGDip at the end of year one)
  • Transferable skills and experience
  • Network of employers and like-minded Unlocked officers
  • Starting salary of between £28,456 and £31,453, depending on location. In addition, during your second year of the programme, you will be invited to develop a policy paper for which you will receive an additional £4,000.
  • Unlocked is a prestigious programme with influential supporters

What is the Unlocked graduate scheme trying to achieve?

In the charity’s own words, “The scheme will seek to replicate other successful public sector recruitment initiatives such as Teach First and Frontline, which target graduates to become teachers and social workers respectively.”

And by the way, I am a big fan of Teach First. We have a post on Teach First featured some time ago by someone who wrote about her experience on Teach First.

Natasha Porter, CEO of Unlocked, said:

“Prison officers are too often seen as ‘turn-keys’. The opposite is true. They deal with some of the most challenging situations and work with some of the most vulnerable people in society. They are effectively mentors, councillors, teachers, police officers and social workers.
“The aim of Unlocked is to help raise the status of the profession and to help reduce reoffending. While many of the scheme’s participants will stay and develop long term roles within the prison system, others will go into the outside world and act as ambassadors to drive forward rehabilitation. The skills they will learn working in such a challenging environment will make them a valuable asset for any organisation.”

OK, so how can graduates apply to Unlocked?

To apply for Unlocked, visit their Apply page on the site.

Of course like all other professional programmes, Unlocked has entry criteria you must meet. You can find the latest entry criteria here.

p.s. Unlocked Graduates are part of a professional programme. Unlocked is a charity, however, the scheme will affect lives of those in prison. And potentially bring out the leader in you too.

My final thoughts on Unlocked graduate scheme

unlcoked become a leader

I like it.

It’s a graduate scheme. And they are taking a risk by bringing in graduates, who will have little to no experience of being in such environments.

However, neither do those officers who join the Military. Only you know, or sometimes, even you don’t know, what your true potential is.

Unlocked is a scheme that will likely attract graduates who have a passion for making an impact in whatever they do.

I would’ve loved to do it if I had a chance. It’s easy to sit back and hear all the bad press about prisons. If given a chance to add value and potential impact lives for the better, I would do that.

So, there you go folks. Let me know what you think about Unlocked in comments. Are you applying for it or know someone who has? Let me know in the comments section.

This post was Sponsored by Unlocked.

About the author

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.