Prisoners are being recruited by meat industry organizations (AFP via Getty Images)

Butchers and other employers in the meat industry will hire prisoners and ex-inmates to alleviate labor shortages.

Meat industry executives met with government officials to discuss how companies could work with prisons to fill the vacancies.

There are around 14,000 job vacancies in the UK meat industry, the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers told the BBC.

According to the British Meat Processors Association, that is around 15 percent of the workforce in the industry.

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers said the industry was facing an impending “recruitment crisis” due to Brexit and Covid.

Prisoners participating in the Release On Temporary License (ROTL) program will be prime candidates for employment.

The program works with inmates in open prisons to help them gain work experience to facilitate transition into the community once they have finished their sentences.

Tony Goodger of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers said it will work with the Justice Department and its affiliates to fill the positions.

Mr. Goodger said he knew some affiliates were already working with ROTL detainees, with feedback saying that the staff were often “hardworking and eager to learn.”

“It’s up to the members who employ them,” he said. “She [prisons] We have offenders and prisoners, we have members who need manpower. It makes sense to bring both together. “

The Turkish processing giant Bernard Matthews is one of the most prominent employers for prisoners and has forged links with HMP Norwich.

Their staff regularly visit the prison for recruitment and often offer inmates contracts after they are released.

The Covid pandemic has resulted in many meat workers on leave looking for new jobs elsewhere.

Since the Brexit vote, EU citizens have been returning to their home countries en masse.

The industry association tried “absolutely every way” to recruit workers.

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