Across the world, our subsidiaries conduct many initiatives to build a more inclusive community. Let’s take a closer look at RATP Dev London’s program for young offenders.
In the British capital, RATP Dev London is offering young offenders a second chance through an innovative program developed in partnership with the organization Achieving for Children. “We initially set up a program to support young offenders to carry out their community service by cleaning buses at our Tolworth bus garage, explains Kumbirai Mukombe, Engineering Manager. Some youngsterss expressed an interest in engineering, so we broadened the program to a 2-week shadowing project to teach them the basics of engineering.”
Reducing petty crime on buses
Every Saturday, Tolworth bus garage welcomes small groups of young offenders sentenced by the court to a community service. Besides cleaning buses and removing graffiti, young people attend a presentation on the consequences for passengers and businesses if a bus is vandalised and has to be taken out of service. “We try to give them an insight into the consequences of vandalism by showing them how much damage they cause, says Kumbirai Mukombe. If the kids feel that they are part of the transport network, and that public transport is for their benefit, we hope to stop them reoffending and, in the long run, to reduce criminal damages to buses.”
Providing work experience
The second part of the project concerns a two-week shadowing stint in the engineering department. The objective is clear: to provide young offenders with work experience and future career opportunities. After attending the shadowing stint in engineering, young people receive a certificate that they can use to apply for an apprenticeship with RATP Dev. As many of these youngsters have dropped out of school, Tolworth bus garage team also encourage them to get back to college in order to get the qualifications required to apply for an apprenticeship.
Building an inclusive community
With this Second Chance program, RATP Dev London demonstrates its willingness to build a more inclusive community. Started six months ago, the program is already very successful, with a 100 % success rate to stop reoffending, a reduction in petty crime on buses and strong community partnerships. “It is very rewarding to help a child who has taken the wrong path in life, concludes Kumbirai Mukombe. Some of the young people may not get a second chance like this and our program can turnaround a kid’s life.”