Join The Forward Trust’s Partners and Employers Network.


The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t just a major challenge for employers. With a shrinking job market, it places people in recovery and an ex-offenders at increased risk too – research by The Forward Trust before the pandemic found that 75% of people in recovery and ex-offenders felt that they would be turned down for jobs for disclosing their past.

This means that employers are missing out on a huge source of skills and talent, in people who have proven experience of overcoming major challenges and adversity.

The Forward Trust’s Partners and Employers Network (PEN) gives employers the opportunity to explore how people in recovery and ex-offenders – as well as other marginalised groups such as young people not in employment, education and training – can strengthen their workforces and support innovation during and after the pandemic.

Its programme of events, seminars and roundtable discussions bring together employers to share challenges and find solutions, with support, expertise and insight from Forward’s employment services and service users.

To get your business involved in PEN, sign up below.

Find out more about employing ex-offenders and people in recovery

Why employers are supporting More Than My Past

HCT Group believes that someone’s history shouldn’t define them. We’re proud to support the 'More Than My Past' campaign as we believe in the potential of people whose past may not have been perfect. So many individuals still face too many barriers to employment due to a criminal past. But if they are given a chance they can – and do – turn their lives around to become valuable members of society.

Dai Powell

Chief Executive, HCT Group

We want a borough where everyone can feel secure and where each resident is given every opportunity to succeed. That is why we initiated the Bright Futures programme with the Forward Trust to help ex-offender residents access the employment opportunities in and around Brent and why we support the ‘More Than My Past’ campaign to help open up their opportunities to a brighter future in employment.

Councillor Amer Agha

Cabinet Member for Education, Skills & Employment, London Borough of Brent

At Redemption Roasters we believe that your past does not have to dictate your future. We choose to embrace our life experiences as they shape a more positive future for our business and the people we work with. The 'More Than My Past' campaign is an incredible opportunity to highlight some of the subconscious prejudices we have when it comes to employing people with a criminal past. People, who like anyone else, have the potential to do great things.

Jonny Pilkington

Public Sector Engagement Manager, Redemption Roasters

At Umbrella Training, we believe in giving people opportunities to grow and develop, not just in their careers but also on a personal level. The 'More Than My Past' campaign is a great way to support people whose opportunities have been limited through bad choices or circumstances. It’s important to give them the room to develop and present them with opportunities to become a force for good in society.

Adele Oxberry FIH

CEO and Founder, Umbrella Training

People are at the heart of what we do at COOK. People’s past doesn’t matter to us; but their future really does! We believe that everyone has the potential to be remarkable. Our RAW Talent programme supports people with criminal convictions, and other barriers to employment, into sustainable, meaningful work. We are learning so much as a company from RAW Talent, and would wholeheartedly recommend others to get involved. ‘More than my Past’ is really close to our heart. We’re delighted to support the campaign.

Annie Gale

RAW Talent Manager, Cook

Timpson is a family run business whose colleagues are the heart and soul of our company. We really are an equal opportunities employer, which includes sourcing great colleagues who may be ex-offenders or from other marginalised groups. We don’t discriminate based on people’s background and instead recruit exclusively on personality. We firmly believe that people’s past should not hold them back and recognise that some of our best employees have had to challenge stigmas and prejudice to get to where they are today. This is why we support the More Than My Past campaign, because we believe everyone has the ability to turn their life around, if given the chance.

James Timpson

Chief Executive, Timpson