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Unlocked celebrate Graduate Scheme of the Year Award 2018

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We were delighted to hear that our partner, Unlocked Graduates, won Personnel Today’s prestigious Graduate Scheme of the Year award 2018. We reached out to their Press and Digital Officer, Chris, to find out what this means for the charity and their future cohorts.

Well first, congratulations! Could you tell us a bit more about the award?

This is a really prestigious award from the UK’s leading HR publication. We were competing against large established corporates and we’re only 2 years old – so we’re really overjoyed to win. 

We’re making a big ask to graduates. When we launched, there was scepticism that top graduates and career changers could be convinced to become prison officers, but in the last two years over 5,000 people expressed their interest in applying for 150 places on the scheme.

Critically, we are already driving significant, positive change in prisons while delivering a graduate scheme that gives participants the support and professional development opportunities they would expect from an established corporate. This emphasis is essential to realising our social justice mission – bringing future leaders into the prison system and using their talent to reform it from the inside. We are offering something unique that will really accelerate our graduates’ careers and this award has validated that.

What brought you to a role at Unlocked?

I come from a background in communications in the Charity sector and was really impressed by Unlocked’s vision. Prisons are so completely separated off from the rest of society, so Unlocked’s mission to reform this broken system from the inside stands out. They also raise awareness of the essential role that prison officers play in tackling the cost of reoffending.

Finally, do you have a top tip for members interested in applying?

Make sure you do your research – carefully look through the website for our mission, values and to find out more about the application process. We are looking for applicants keen to take on real challenge and responsibility from day one and who want to share our mission.

We are looking forward to growing our cohort in the coming years, and delivering a career-defining programme for our participants while driving much-needed change in the UK prison system.