Civic Lecture to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland by Dr Eamon Phoenix

New Research: Employing people with criminal records in Northern Ireland

Civic Lecture to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland by Dr Eamon Phoenix

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ulster University and NIACRO teamed up to conduct research focusing on the attitudes of NI employers to recruiting those with criminal records, the first research of its kind here. This event is the official launch of the research findings.

97% of local employers we surveyed told us they believe in rehabilitation and want to hire for talent and aptitude, rather than write off applicants who have past offences. But they also told us they need more information to make informed and correct hiring decisions.

A short film about the survey will be screened at the launch followed by a Q&A session with a panel of experts and employers who will share how the research can be used to inform best practice in recruitment.

If you are an employer and want to find out more, then this FREE event is a great opportunity to learn more and ask any questions

About our panelists:
Professor Duncan Morrow, Lecturer in School of Applied Social and Policy Sc. - Ulster University

Duncan Morrow is an academic and community activist. He is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University in Belfast at a time when the University is going through its biggest-ever transformation in the city by relocating its largest campus into the centre of the city.

His interest in conflict transformation and the politics of peace and conflict have shaped both his University career and his activity outside those walls. He is currently a Parole Commissioner and for nine years, he was Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

Since then he has worked with the Scottish Government as the chair of independent Ministerial advisory groups on tackling Sectarianism and on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion and with the Sir George Quigley Fund on a review on the evidence of ongoing Sectarianism in Northern Ireland. He is part of the UU Policing Education team, Chair of the Restorative Justice Suitability Panel, Northern Ireland and on the Investigative Panel into Education Opportunities for Separated Prisoners (B9) as part of Tackling Paramilitarism Programme.

Duncan has written and researched widely on conflict, community safety and policing , politics and religion and peacebuilding.

Michael Deane, Michelin starred Belfast based chef

Michael Deane is one of the most recognisable faces of Ireland’s hospitality industry. Proprietor of seven diverse restaurants in Belfast, he shares the credit for transforming the city’s food culture and holds the record for the longest-lived of Northern Ireland’s Michelin Stars with a total of eighteen stars awarded to date.

Michael Deane has served the economy of Northern Ireland for the last thirty-five years putting his commitment to our tourism and hospitality industry ahead of an international career. His contribution to the international reputation of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination has been unparalleled and his selfless dedication to training young Chefs has been recognised nationally and internationally by his peers.

As well as investing millions of pounds in developing a range of restaurants, Michael Deane has served the community on The Northern Ireland Tourist Board; as a visiting Professor to Ulster University, a joint business venture with Queens University and deep commitments to Charites including The Princes Trust, The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund For Children, The Chest, Heart & Stroke Association and many more.

Over the years Michael himself and Deanes Restaurants have achieved a string of accolades including Restaurant of the Year on several different occasions, most recently in 2016 when Deanes Eipic was named Restaurant of The Year in Ireland and Michael was hailed Entrepreneur of The Year in Ireland.

Michael Deane is also well known for his contributions to local charities including The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, The Chest Heart & Stroke Association and The Princes Trust in which he mentored scores of young people carving out a better life for themselves.

Jonny Pardoe, Disclosure Specialist - NIACRO

Jonny Pardoe is the Disclosure Specialist in NIACRO and helps people (employers, further education providers, statutory and voluntary agencies and individuals) understand the impact of having a criminal record in Northern Ireland. With a HR background, he has over 10 years experience of working with, and for people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Jonny is passionate about seeing people being treated fairly and being given opportunities to change the ending of their stories for the better. Jonny commissioned the research into Employers attitudes, after working with hundreds of employers and people with criminal records and seeing common challenges and opportunities and hopes the research will lead to best practice in recruitment for all.

Jonny delivers training and support for employers and also runs the disclosure helpline in NIACRO.

Sara Neilson, Employability Manager - Business In The Community NI

Sara has 18 years employability experience in Scotland, London and Northern Ireland and is passionate about helping to raise aspirations and encourage everyone to engage fully in society to the best of their ability.

Sara leads the Business In The Community's efforts in supporting businesses to engage those furthest removed from employment to gain the skills and aptitudes they need to become work-ready. Alongside this, her role involves campaigning to change attitudes of employers towards a more sustainable and responsible approach to workforce development.

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11:00AM to 12:00PM

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