New Unlocked recruitment campaign launches

New Unlocked recruitment campaign launches

As we open applications for 2020, we are very excited to launch our new recruitment campaign and wanted to share the story of how it came about.  Please watch and share this advert – hopefully it will challenge your thinking and misconceptions about the prison officer job.

One of our key priorities here at Unlocked Graduates has always been to reach people who would not usually consider becoming a prison officer. This is in part about diversifying the prison workforce, but also because we want to raise the status of a traditionally very under-valued frontline role.

We know we are making a difference on campus. Our research shows that more and more graduates see the prison officer role as a viable opportunity. Before we launched in 2016, just six percent of finalists at top universities thought a career in the prison service was for the very best graduates. By 2019, this had more than tripled to 22 percent.

Our challenge now is to reach the audiences who are still not considering it. People are often surprised to learn that we want to recruit more men for example – they are currently underrepresented on our programme.

We also want to attract people from groups that are currently under-represented in the prison service workforce, so candidates from a Black or minority ethnic background and members of the LGBTQ+ community are a particular priority.

Our starting point for this campaign was the realisation that the prison officer job is one of the best pub chat jobs you are ever going to have.

Whether they are surprised, supportive, worried or just fascinated it is a job that gets a reaction. Our participants told us that friends and family were often stunned and sometimes genuinely concerned about their decision to work in prisons. They also told us that, although for security and safety reasons they are careful about when and where they discuss their job, they discovered that people were fascinated to hear about the hidden world of prisons.

We also wanted something irreverent and fun that people would want to share.

Our agency SMRS, with support from Fifty One Films, worked with us to develop and execute a concept to bring this story to life.

This advert tells the story of the reactions our officers get when they share what they do.  It doesn’t shy away from the fact that sometimes these reactions are negative, but we hope that by sharing these stories more people will consider taking on the prison officer job. Just as importantly, we hope that everyone will consider what their reaction might be if a friend told them they worked in prison.

There are many myths about the prison officer role but the truth is that it is one of the most challenging and rewarding frontline roles there is.

Whether you want to impress friends, family, future employers or a first date, being a prison officer is always a job that gets a reaction.