Supporting ex-offenders

Initially conceived in 2007, and later updated in 2016 with the support of The Big Lottery Fund, our self-employment training BASE (Beating Adversity through Self-Employment) was originally developed as a tailored training solution to help prisoners transitioning/already transitioned out of custody to be able to become economically independent.

Supporting other service user genres

While BASE was devised very much with transitioning ex-offenders in mind, the self-employment training that we provide also suits other service user genres and satisfies many other training needs, for example:

  • for commercial training e.g. local chambers of commerce, enterprise development groups
  • to help people from other backgrounds & lived experience to become self-employed e.g. ex-military personnel, other uniformed service personnel
Delivery formats

In its original form the training comprised both in-gate and ex-gate training. In its present form BASE is only available ex-gate.

BASE is currently available in two delivery formats:

  • Distance-learning format – this is the primary delivery format, tailored for people leaving the criminal justice system, allowing course participants to access training from any location at any time of day and at whatever learning speed they choose. Any number of ex-offender service users can access the secure online training content at any time.
  • Face-to-face format – this is an intense 5-day training course offered to Special Interest Groups able to assemble and host courses of between 8 (minimum) and 12 (maximum) course participants at a time. Training is this format is available for both ex-offender and other service user genres – each course slightly adjusted for each participating user genre.

Details of how to register from the distance-learning format of BASE can be found via the tab in the menu bar above.

Any Special Interest Group interested in learning more about the face-to-face format of BASE should email us at training.services@exgate.co.uk for more information on the training programme and the costs involved.

Our training approach

Employment training traditionally suffers from being programme-led rather than needs-led, lacking of a selection process, having little integration with vocational aspirations and often merely delivering a qualification rather than skills. So we do things differently.

Our course contextually targets frailty and self-esteem in order to counter susceptibility to stressor events that create incidents of disproportionate impact.

We help participants to grow realistic business and self-employment aspirations and provide participants with insights into themselves and business that will serve them long into the future.

We help participants to deal with this job market reality – assisting them to side-step prejudice and scepticism concerning their age, backgrounds or experience: helping them to start to achieve economic independence where chasing traditional employment channels often only creates frustration or low self-esteem.

Guy Woods

Guy owns ExGate Ltd and is also the Course Director.

He is a science graduate of Durham University, a qualified Certified Fraud Examiner and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

After 10 years in the Royal Navy, serving mostly in submarines, in 1986 he moved into industry and later into the consultancy world, focusing upon risk and regulated market compliance, in parallel establishing and growing a range of analysis, screening and training offerings to help companies operate with probity, control and competence under the purview of ever more demanding national and international regulations.

Guy has established, run and later divested two successful consultancy businesses (one 7 years later and the other 25 years later) and has been an angel investor in a number of other enterprises. In the non-profit space he has jointly established and run a social enterprise and has been a charity trustee, a fundraiser for multiple charities, and an affiliate member of the Association for Certified Independent Examiners.

Over the years Guy has been a member of a number of international chambers of commerce and has additionally been a member of British Expertise, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD), and the Intellectual Property Institute, together with other trade and management organisations.

Guy has had a long, elective, association with offenders transitioning and exiting the Criminal Justice System. As an employer he has employed a number of ex-offenders, either as full time employees or as contractors. He has also been an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) prison monitor, appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice. And over a number of years he has offered self-employment training to prisoners.