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Skills Bid to Put Offenders on Straight and Narrow


The government hopes to cut crime by getting offenders into training and jobs.

Education and skills secretary Alan Johnson has promised £500,000 funding for pilot schemes in two regions to drive forward reforms to improve offenders' skills and jobs prospects to stop them re-offending.

The scheme is part of the government's Next Steps document which implements actions following on from last year's Green Paper Reducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment.

Under the proposals, offenders undertaking training packages will be offered interviews and employers will get extra support to give work trials leading to jobs.

Measures include:

  • Bringing agencies and employers together to offer offenders work training and jobs, including “employability contracts” - setting out offenders' rights and responsibilities and helping them to develop marketable skills and get into sustainable jobs - and a mentor support system.

  • A Reducing Re-offending Corporate Alliance to promote the employment of offenders in areas of recruitment difficulties and skills shortages.

  • Trials of “recruit, train and interview packages” with advice on self-employment.

  • Job developer pilots in six cities offering employers tailored advice and support.

Johnson said: "Repeat offending carries an enormous cost, socially as well as economically. By joining up training and labour market needs more closely we can create a win-win situation for employers and offenders while also protecting the public by cutting crime."


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