Build Back Up - Construction for prison leavers

by Entrepreneurs Unlocked CIC in Horwich, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th March 2021 we successfully raised £10,040 with 30 supporters in 28 days

Help to provide training, tools, support to 30 prison leavers to become self-employed subcontractors in construction over the next 6 months.

by Entrepreneurs Unlocked CIC in Horwich, England, United Kingdom

Entrepreneurs Unlocked CIC is about supporting people to become self-employed.

Entrepreneurs Unlocked CIC was established late 2019 to provide self employment support for people in custody and prison leavers. Its vision to enable social and economic mobility through entrepreneurship.

The Build Back Up project will provide prison leavers with the training, skills, and tools, they need, to gain work within the construction industry, preferably as self-employed subcontractors.

As construction and infrastructure projects continue, with COVID-safe sites, demand for workers continues to rise, but construction is a sector with a skills shortage and the Build Back Up project looks to address this shortage.

Why is this needed?

As of the middle of 2020, there were almost 2.2 million people employed in the construction sector, with 1.3 million classed as self-employed. The forecast for 2021-2025 is cautiously optimistic with the average growth rate across the UK predicted to be 5–6%

On average, 45% of adults who are released from custody re-offend within 12 months. The total cost of re-offending in the UK exceeds £18 billion per year.

With over 60,000 releases per annum, almost 30,000 people will re-offend having a negative impact on themselves, their families, as well as creating more victims of crime.

How will this help?

This project will aim to make a difference to 30 people, and your pledge will:

  • Help to stop prison leavers from reoffending
  • Provide a second chance to men and women with criminal histories
  • Fill a skills gap in the construction industry

The story can be turned around in that it provides the person with a supported entry into a growing sector and enables them to develop a career for future financial independence. This enables them to move away from previous unhealthy cycles of re-offending and to become a positive role model for others.

Who will be involved?

Build Back Up will work closely with organisations such as the Tax Academy CIC and Inside Connections CIC, who provide employment training, advice, and support for ex-offenders.

Inside Connections CIC already work in partnership with several organisations in the construction sector, including Wilmot Dixon and City Fibre.

Furthermore, it will seek to utilise its membership of The Corbett Network for Prisoner Re-integration, which is a coalition of more than 80 decision-makers of major rehabilitation charities and organisations dedicated to reducing re-offending by supporting people with convictions.

Bob's Story (Not his real name).

Bob was released from custody in the middle of 2020. 

Before his custodial sentence, he had worked on an ad-hoc basis, providing services for famil1614428532_image_2.jpgy, friends and other local builders in domestic properties. By his own admission, the work was cash-in-hand and irregular, with no prospects for self-development. Without purpose and direction, he offended and was sent to prison.

Bob wanted to take a new direction upon release from prison and to become a registered tradesperson, with the credentials to secure work on construction sites. He was introduced to Entrepreneurs Unlocked for help to get him back on his feet and carve out a career. Bob fully engaged with the support on offer, understanding the life-changing impact it could have on his future.

Bob had the skills and 1614428071_image_4.jpgexperience to provide a quality service, but he needed the guidance of Entrepreneurs Unlocked to register with HMRC and to take his new career forward. Entrepreneurs Unlocked collaborated with other agencies, so that Bob was able to secure a CSCS card and be provided with a set of hand tools and accept a job offer to get on site.

With guidance from Entrepreneurs Unlocked and their project partner The Tax Academy CIC, Bob was allocated a Unique Tax Reference (UTR), which is an HMRC requirement for the payment of National Insurance and Income Tax. 

The long-term effect that the help from Entrepreneurs Unlocked will have on Bob’s career is immeasurable. Over the last 4 months, he has worked on various construction sites, gaining new skills, and building a reputation as a reliable subcontractor. This will be the springboard for finding more work and a steady income. By demonstrating his commitment to work and a determination to avoid re-offending, Bob was able to get up and running with a new career and will now be able to fulfil his potential. Furthermore, he will be an asset to the construction industry where there is a significant skills shortage.

Who will be supported?

Build Back Up will work with people that have already shown ambition and commitment by gaining relevant vocational qualifications and they will be undertaking or will have recently completed:

  • The mandatory Health and Safety L1 qualification, as required by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
  • The CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) test
  • The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, needed to get on to a construction site.

What specifically will they receive?

  • Entrepreneurs Unlocked Smart Subcontractor Programme, providing information, advice and guidance to get a career in construction.

Upon securing work they will then receive

  • Safety boots, socks, and suitable PPE, worth up to £45
  • A suitable set of workwear, worth up to £70
  • A basic set of tools and equipment needed for their work, worth up to £150
  • A travel pass to the site in their first week of work, worth up to £20.
  • Support to register with HMRC if needed, to gain their UTR number and CIS registration

Once in work, they will be provided with:

  • 12 months’ free access to HMRC approved accountancy software to help manage their money and be financially compliant
  • Free of charge support to complete their first self-assessment

Final thoughts

By enabling 30 people to embark on a career in the construction sector will be a positive step for themselves, their loved ones, society and the economy. 

Surely that is the way forward.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£10 or more

Thank You!

A big thank you and a virtual certificate of appreciation

£25 or more

1 of 40 claimed

SMART Subcontractor Programme

A resource that provides details on how to gain work in the construction sector, how to register with the HMRC and keep control of your finances. It comes with the ability to gain a free tax review by The Tax Academy CIC, and if needed help to register with HMRC and complimentary accounting software for 12 months.

£50 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Online self employment exploration session

Ideal for organisations supporting prison leavers. A one hour zoom session for up to 10 people to explore how self employment and developing your entrepreneurial talent can lead to a crime free future.

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Be Your Own Boss Self Employment Programme

Ideal for organisation supporting prison leavers. Access to Entrepreneurs Unlocked self employment distance learning programme. All you need to know about becoming self employed. Includes 3 hour of virtual coaching, help to register with the HMRC, a years complimentary accountancy software courtesy of The Tax Academy CIC

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