Chris Moore, Chief Executive, The Clink Charity
For those of you that have visited one of The Clink Restaurants, all four of which are 3-star Food Made Good rated, you will be aware of our unique fine-dining experience that challenges perceptions whilst representing a genuine opportunity to break the cycle of crime, reduce re-offending and transform lives.
Here at The Clink our sole aim is to reduce re-offending rates of ex-offenders by training and placing graduates into employment in the hospitality industry upon their release. To date, The Clink has seen more than 900 prisoners trained to an exceptional standard, with 93 graduates released into work in 2016 alone, and with the support of the industry we hope to increase these numbers even further.
The issue of re-offending has become one of the most pressing issues facing society today and the need for education is as important as ever, not just to support the prison population, but to serve the needs of the hospitality industry as whole. As you will be aware, the massive skills shortage in the hospitality industry is well documented and The Clink is addressing the current hospitality skills crisis in the UK by recognising the prison system as an untapped source of talent. With it predicted that an additional 993,000 hospitality staff will be needed by 2020 (People 1st, 2016), the high level of training that The Clink offers can play a pivotal role in reducing the skills shortage and providing meaningful employment to those who want to change the lives of themselves and their families for the better.
With four restaurants currently in operation at HMP High Down in Surrey, HMP Cardiff in Wales, HMP Brixton in London and HMP Styal in Cheshire, alongside our external catering service Clink Events (also 3-star accredited) and The Clink Gardens, we’re well on our way to achieving our plans for the future, as we aim to release upwards of 1,000 trained and qualified graduates each year by the end of 2020. In order to achieve this, we need help from supporters both individually and together as an industry that will help pave the way to a brighter future for the next generation of hospitality professionals.
Last year we successfully released graduates into employment with well-known industry names including Lancaster London, Wahaca and Roast. If you are interested in providing future employment opportunities for our graduates, choosing The Clink as your nominated charity or supporting us in any other way then please get in touch.
To book a table at one of our award-winning restaurants or to find out more about the charity and how you can support our work please visit www.theclinkcharity.org.