The Exceptionals


The Exceptionals


Be exceptional.
Employ an Exceptional.

The Exceptionals is a campaign for social change.

We inspire and inform employers about the opportunity available to them in terms of working with people who have convictions. Our purpose is to educate businesses about the unique skills and attitude this workforce has to offer and provide insight into the hiring process.

Inspired by fantastic rehabilitation projects in the UK, the Traverse Trust spent 18 months investigating the best way we could support prisoners to transition back into the community. Our research identified great work being delivered in the sector, but with little publicity, especially to prospective employers.

We created The Exceptionals to bridge the gap between
ex-offenders and employers.

Our campaign focuses on routes to employment, the single most important factor in reducing reoffending and a commercial imperative for employers. Reoffending drops from over 50% to 19% when prison leavers are employed within 2 years from release.

Our award-winning website, designed by GW+CO, is a central resource hub for employers looking to diversify their workforce. It features a directory of partner organisations searchable by area, free employer pack, inspirational case studies, interviews and documentary films from top employers.

“A brilliant organisation really driving companies to employ ex-offenders.”

           —  Rick Mower, Managing Director, RAW Workshop

We aim to dispel the doubts and fears around working with prison leavers and show the business benefits.

Our campaign has three objectives:

To inspire employers to see the opportunity of working with former prisoners; an overlooked and high-potential community.

To inform employers about the process of hiring people with convictions. 

To connect employers with rehabilitation partners that will provide suitable candidates, and to support both parties through the recruitment process.

Most employers will hire prison leavers if supported to do so. We offer guidance on the hiring process and connect businesses with our established network of employers, rehabilitation partners and criminal justice activists.
We recognise that the employer journey, like all forms of recruitment, is challenging. Our resources are designed to simplify the hiring process. We look at top-level thinking in this area and signpost to further information where relevant.

Now in its fifth year, The Exceptionals campaign has achieved significant impact, online engagement and media attention. It has exceeded its goal of inspiring 50 employers to consider hiring ex-offenders.

We actively encourage employers to come forward as role models. To date, the campaign has celebrated over 170 success stories from forward-thinking businesses, including HSS Hire, Deloitte, LSE and Specsavers, who have successfully recruited from this talent pool.

 Contact Us

 If you would like more information about our initiatives please, do get in touch.