Manufacturers unite to share best practice on employing ex-offenders, employee retention and finding hidden talents.


Pennine Pneumatic Services, one of the leading providers of compressed air solutions in the UK, welcomed Made in Yorkshire members to their site this week to discuss various topics within the skills and employment arena. The session focussed on sharing best practice on employing ex-offenders, retaining staff in a competitive market and finding hidden talents in teams.

When discussing ex-offenders, two of the members present were able to divulge their experiences of actively going out to employ ex-offenders and field questions from the other manufacturers about the practicalities of this method of recruitment. Whilst two other members were able to bring to the table numerous charities and organisations that could help any of the manufacturers in the room start recruiting from this underused and undervalued talent pool.

A large proportion of the discussions on this topic encouraged those in the room to de-stigmatise their opinions on ex- offenders by sharing stories of people they knew who had committed an offence and how sometimes one silly mistake can result in someone falling into the ex-offender category.

During the topic of employee retention the group shared their best practice when it came to offering more than just a bigger pay packet, which spanned across flexible working (locations and time), buying and selling holiday, employee culture, break out rooms, regular incentives, training and progression. In addition the group analysed the changing job market as millennials begin to enter the job market and how their needs differ from previous generations.

To end the session the conversation turned to finding hidden skills within a team and creating flexible job roles. One example offered by the group was of a warehouse picker who happened to do photography as a hobby outside of work. The company then asked him to support in product images which slowly developed into him becoming the group marketing manager and manage a team. Investment by the company in something that wasn’t traditionally on his CV has resulted into a big benefit for both himself and the company.

The importance of flexible appraisals then became apparent as companies could perhaps benefit not by analysing someone’s job, but by analysing what a person can bring to the company whether it be within their current job role or not.

The skills working group brought many dynamic discussions to the table and everyone was able to walk away with new ideas they could perhaps implement in their own companies.

The next Skills Working Group will be held in October on the 17th at Balmoral Tanks. If you would like any more information on the next event or to receive the minutes for this session, please contact [email protected]