Five minutes with...

5 minutes with...Robert Taylor, employment coordinator, HMP Addiewell

Robert Taylor

 
Time 640 days ago Comments 0 comments
 

Robert Taylor has played an invaluable role at HMP Addiewell since joining in September 2015. As the prison’s employment coordinator, it’s his role to secure work opportunities for residents on release and he’s embraced the responsibility and helped to turn a failing department around. Robert was given a Sodexo Star of the Month award and has recently been nominated for the 2016 Butler Trust Awards.

Q. Tell us a bit about your career before you joined Sodexo.

A. I come from a military background having spent 23 years in the Armed Forces after a brief spell working as a metalworker in Glasgow when I left school. In 2012 I came back to Scotland and started working in the welfare to work arena for the first time. I joined Sodexo as employment coordinator in September 2015.

Q. What’s your remit?

A. First and foremost it’s about listening to people. I have to understand the individual needs of the prisoners and help them to identify where they want to get to. Then I can work to provide the training and opportunities to help them get there.

Q. How do you work with each individual?

A. It’s important not to force anyone into work: if they’re not ready, they’re not ready. It’s my job to help people identify their own goals – I call them ‘positive destinations’. It’s very much down to the individual to tell me, not the other way round.

Q. How do you then help them reach these destinations?

A. It might involve setting up some volunteer work first, for instance, or something part time. I’ve put a lot of focus on bringing local employers into the prison to meet with residents and chat to them about possible work opportunities. We now have links with both national businesses like Virgin Trains, and local companies including restaurants and a specialist furniture-maker.

Q. Is it difficult to get employers on board?

A. Not once you explain that we have lots of talented guys here. By inviting them in to see the activities in our music and art rooms for instance they can see it first hand.  Addiewell is a training prison and our residents are involved in developing their skills in disciplines like woodworking and bricklaying too.

Q. How have you helped to improve the department’s performance?

A. I’ve had great support from the management team here. Because the department wasn’t reaching its potential I was given a bit of a blank canvas to change things. One of the things I was keen to do was reduce the amount of time the residents spent in classrooms, and make learning shorter and sharper.

Q. Do you find the job rewarding?

A. Absolutely, and it’s amazing when you see residents secure jobs when they’re released. One resident invited me to the restaurant he was working in, and cooked me lunch. It actually brought a tear to my eye. We have had a number of success stories like this and it makes it all worthwhile. 

Q. What’s next on the agenda?

A. We’re currently talking to The Prince’s Trust about some volunteer places, so that’s an exciting development for the future.

 

Share this story About sharing

  
Send to Kindle

News

SODEXO SPONSORS ‘WHAT’S SHE DOING HERE’ EXHIBITION
 

SODEXO SPONSORS ‘WHAT’S SHE DOING HERE’ EXHIBITION

Sodexo Ireland is one of the sponsors of the ‘What’s She Doing Here - Women at Work 1918-2018’ Exhibition, running from 31 March to 10 June 2018 at the Little Museum of Dublin, one of the capital’s top-rated attractions. 

 
On your marks, get set, go!
 

SODEXO SAFETY OLYMPICS

Are you taking part in the Sodexo Safety Olympics? We are now three weeks into the competition and, as of 10 April, there are 3,249 teams taking part, which represents an amazing 27,963 people worldwide.

 
Sodexo has become the first caterer in Scotland to achieve the healthyliving plus award across all food services at multiple contract sites.
 

HEALTHYLIVING PLUS AWARD

Sodexo has become the first caterer in Scotland to achieve the healthyliving plus award across all food services at multiple contract sites.

 
All set for Vaisakhi celebrations
 

Vaisakhi

Sikhs from across the world will be coming together in their communities to celebrate Vaisakhi on 14 April. 

 
Running 10 April – 11 May
 

Employee Engagement Survey 2018

The Employment Engagement Survey 2018 is fast approaching and we’re keen to hear the views of as many Sodexo people as possible.

 
open to all Sodexo employees who are responsible for children, not just women!
 

NEW FACEBOOK GROUP

Did you know Sodexo has just launched a brand new service to support working parents and carers?

 
Pictured from left with the Awards host, comedy film and tv star Sally Phillips, were Paula McCool, contracts manager, Ray Browne, supervisor, Roseleen Browne, cleaning operative, Christopher McGinley, team leader, Lisa Harrigan, compliance manager and Stephen Jones, general manager (UK and Ireland), Kimberly Clark Professional.
 

DOUBLE SUCCESS AT KIMBERLY CLARK AWARDS

Sodexo celebrated a double win at the 2018 Kimberly Clark Golden Service awards, held at the London Hilton, Park Lane on 8 March.

 
ADAM COLLISON
 

SODEXO CHEF OF THE YEAR 2018

It’s official – he’s the best in the business! A delighted Adam Collison has been crowned Sodexo Chef of the Year after beating eight other finalists in the live 90-minute cook off at Hotelympia on 6 March.

 
COMPETITION WINNERS
 

RECOGNISING YOU

The new Recognising You site is all about making employees feel great, and five lucky people are definitely feeling good after being drawn as winners of the launch competition.