Prison service announces new apprenticeship scheme

New plans have been announced that should pave the way for offenders to work towards apprenticeships while in prison.

The scheme will see responsibility for education and training provision handed to prison governors, in a move that would see them commission training providers to deliver skills training according to prisoners’ needs.

“We intend to introduce a Prisoner Apprenticeship Pathway to offer prisoners opportunities that will count towards the completion of a formal apprenticeship on release,” the white paper said.

“Prisoners will have access to the same high quality training and education that an apprentice could expect in the community, and will not need to repeat training that they have successfully completed in custody on release, if they can demonstrate competence in the activity they are being trained in during the apprenticeship.”


Employers must be involved

The paper goes on to say that the prison service wants employers to be involved with the prisoners on this Pathway, “To work with them and to develop training programmes, and to commit to taking on successful prisoners as apprentices for a minimum of 12 months on release.

Governors are ideally placed to work with local employers, who can get to know the prisoners and be confident in the high quality of the Pathway, to engage them in taking on prisoners post release as apprentices. We expect the first prisoners to begin the Pathway in 2017.”