Plastics recycler Closed Loop Recycling has been working with social enterprise Blue Sky to offer ex-offenders a job at its Dagenham facility.
About 90,000 people are released from prison every year, but 60 per cent of them go on to re-offend within two years.
One of the biggest challenges for ex-offenders is finding work, but Closed Loop Recycling now employs four former prisoners full-time on its production line.
Since 2005, Blue Sky has helped 950 people on paid six-month contracts at companies such as Virgin Active and Deloitte.
One of the employees with Closed Loop is Christopher Nelson from Romford in Essex who served a six-week term in Pentonville prison in early 2012 and then spent the next two years on the dole.
He said: “I’m really enjoying the work and learning new things. Every day I regret what I’ve done, so I’m grateful to Blue Sky and Closed Loop for giving me this opportunity.
“When I came out it was really tough. All of the job applications were asking if I had a criminal record and after that they didn’t want to know – it was always the same old story.”