Stepnell helps Leicester ex-offender rebuild his life with placement on city project

Stepnell has teamed up with community engagement organisation Leicestershire Cares to help a local ex-offender turn his life around.

Stepnell has organised a four-week work placement for 31-year-old Olson Murrain, from Highfields, Leicester, on the St George’s House refurbishment project in the city. The Stepnell team is carrying out an extensive internal and external programme of work at the building for property development specialist MRP Developments.

The placement has enabled Olson to gain plastering experience by working alongside one of the company’s qualified tradesmen. It was arranged through the Leicestershire Cares Community Safety scheme, which places ex-offenders with local employers for work experience.

Thomas Sewell, Stepnell operations and commercial manager, says: “The job market is tough for everyone at the moment and even more so for people with a criminal record. It’s important that people have the chance to get back on track and this is a practical way that we can enable someone in the local community to start to rebuild their life. Olson shows a lot of promise. His attitude and hard work have impressed us all and we’ve been glad to extend his placement beyond the usual two weeks enabling him to gain extra experience.”

During his placement in Leicester, Olson has received mentoring help and close supervision from Stepnell and Dennis Sayer, community safety project coordinator for Leicestershire Cares.

Olson says: “I’ve been very lucky to have the support of Dennis at Leicestershire Cares and Stepnell. I’ve had some previous experience of painting and decorating but this is the first time I’ve done any plastering. I’m really enjoying it and particularly like being able to finish something and see what I’ve achieved. This has helped me understand what it’s like to work in the construction industry, develop my skills and show what I can do - something which will be extremely useful when I speak to potential employers.” After completing his placement, Olson will receive a reference from Stepnell which he can then use in his search for a permanent job, as well as a certificate of achievement.

Stepnell aims to work with Leicestershire Cares to offer further placements on the St George’s House scheme as part of the company’s commitment to supporting community initiatives.

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