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An Interview with Our Head of Social Value Sasha Simmonds

23 February

Interview with our Head of Social Value- Sasha Simmonds.


Sasha looks after the initiative called @Constructingfutures which is an exciting new project we are delivering here at O`Neill & Brennan. It helps individuals in their final 36 months of their sentence to obtain employment within the construction industry and also hopefully a better life for when they are released.

Sasha Bayly Simmonds has years of experience doing this and works very closely with the individuals over this period. She gets to know them on a personal level, helping manage them back into the community and supporting them.

Sasha was recently invited to The House of Commons to discuss Constructing Futures in more details.


  1. Hi Sasha, what an amazing achievement speaking at The House of Commons? What were the main points you wanted to get across about Constructing Futures?


It was a great experience. I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing opportunity. I’ve worked with prisons for 5 years, but the female estates have always been given less career opportunities and I wanted to highlight this issue. The career options offered to females are cleaning jobs and hair and beauty qualifications. There is nothing wrong with any of those jobs, but we shouldn’t be limited to these roles just because we are women.


  1. How many release on temporary license (ROTL) placements have you placed now?


I mentioned before that I’ve done this for five years and I use to place one release on temporary licence (ROTL) placement here and there. It’s been a whirlwind over the past nine months since joining O’Neill & Brennan. They are a very supportive, openminded company which has enabled me to place 35 placements in the last nine months and another 5 due to start.


  1. How important is it to rehabilitate and reform prisoners? Especially as there is a huge labour shortage in the Construction Industry?

    There are 70,00 people released from prison every year. 63 % reoffend within 12 months, that’s around 44,000 people. With it costing around £40k to incarcerate someone, that’s an unbelievable amount of taxpayers’ money being wasted.

    This number can be dramatically reduced simply by employing a Release on Temporary license (ROTL) or a prison leaver. 67% of ex-offenders say the biggest factor to stop them from reoffending is having a job.



  1. We are always looking for good, ambitious, hardworking people to join us. What would you say is the best thing about working for O’Neill & Brennan?

    I’ve never worked in a company that put so much trust into their staff, micromanagement simply isn’t a thing here. The people make it the place it is, it’s fun and there is never a dull moment.


I’ve been in the recruitment industry for 6 years and always loved the idea of doing more and helping people get back into work. I found it tough in this industry, despite the huge targets surrounding contractors, recruitment companies never seemed fussed about making a difference.


I’ve been so lucky with the Directors here at O&B, they listen, and they are always happy to support me and my crazy ideas. I feel so valued and genuinely feel so at home with O&B.


Anyone that works in recruitment will know it is a very stressful and demanding industry, especially if you’re at the wrong company. It’s nearly been nine months and I haven’t cried once and that’s saying something because I am a crier!


I love my job, I love what I do and I am lucky to have an incredible team around me that make me belly laugh every day. Credit to them, they make O’Neill & Brennan what it is.




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