Innovative Scheme Sees Ex-Offenders Qualify as Scaffolders


In a groundbreaking initiative, the first fully qualified ex-offender scaffolders have successfully graduated from the CISRS training scheme, thanks to a CITB-funded program run by Fulcrum Scaffold Safety and Procure Plus.

This innovative scheme aims to provide ex-offenders with valuable skills and a second chance at life.

Chris Hamlin from Liverpool is among the first to complete his Part 2 CISRS Scaffolding Course with Fulcrum Scaffold Safety in Holywell. He is now gathering evidence for his NVQ, marking the start of his journey as a qualified scaffolder.

Stephen Spears from Manchester is also progressing well to become a scaffolder, alongside more than 200 male and female trainees currently employed full-time under the CISRS training scheme.

Dave Abraham, Managing Director of Fulcrum Scaffold Safety, hailed the program’s success: It’s a massively successful recruitment route for the scaffolding sector – providing a steady stream of much-needed talent to the industry, from ex-offenders leaving prison.”

Dave Abraham with Wiktor Morrell, Employment and Skills Manager for Procure Plus

Abraham emphasised the positive impact on participants like Chris Halpin, who found purpose and passion in scaffolding after serving a life sentence. We originally wanted to go into the prisons in 2018, but COVID set that back. But once we got in there, we were off and now we get asked to go to all manner of prisons, he added.

The program, which began in Category D prisons and allows temporary release for work experience, now operates across several prisons, including HMP Cardiff, HMP Berwyn, HMP Thorn Cross, and HM Prison Styal. It excludes sex offenders, terrorists, and arsonists due to insurance constraints in the scaffolding sector.

Dave Abraham highlighted the program’s rehabilitative impact: It’s about giving back and getting these people back into society in the correct manner. The CISRS training gives them the chance to get a trade, learn a skill, and be part of a great industry.”

Wiktor Morrell, Employment and Skills Manager for Procure Plus, highlighted the scheme’s success and growing demand. There’s a waiting list for the course now, it’s proving to be that popular. This model is industry-accredited training giving people the skills they need to get a full-time job and a pathway to a new career,he said.

The program’s success is not only filling a crucial skills gap in the scaffolding industry but also transforming lives by offering stable employment and a fresh start. The biggest reason people re-offend is when they have nowhere to live and no job, so no money… and this scheme stops that negative cycle happening, Morrell explained.

CISRS MD Dave Mosley

The initiative has received widespread acclaim, with CISRS MD Dave Mosley praising its impact: This is a brilliant and successful scheme giving second chances to ex-offenders with a rewarding and wide career in scaffolding. Huge credit to CITB, Fulcrum, and Procure Plus for making it happen.”

For further information on the courses and funding, visit Procure Plus and Fulcrum Scaffold Safety.