No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Training Plan to Cut Prisoner Re-Offending


The Government is unveiling plans to help reduce re-offending through improving training and education to help offenders into jobs when they leave prison.

The plans, outlined in a new Green Paper: Reducing Re-Offending through Skills and Employment, focus on working with employers and training providers to boost inmates' skills.

Key proposals include:

  • A stronger focus on jobs, with more relevant skills training, designed by and responding to employers’ needs.

  • A new ‘contract’ for offenders, with incentives for participation.

  • A campus’ model for offenders to ensure continuity of education from prisons into the community.

Home Office figures show that released prisoners are more likely to continue to offend than they are to be rehabilitated, with up to one in five crimes committed by ex-prisoners. The cost of this crime is estimated at £11 billion a year, with a re-offending former prisoner costing the criminal justice system an average of £65,000 up to the point of re-imprisonment and £37,500 each year in prison.

Education and Skills Secretary Ruth Kelly said: “Half of all prisoners have no qualifications at all and more than a third have reading skills below the level of those expected of an 11 year old. Two-thirds were unemployed before prison and many have no prospect of finding jobs when they are released."

The Government cited the Offender Training and Employment Programme, led by National Grid, as a prime example of how employment-focussed training can cut re-offending. The scheme is recording a re-offending rate of just 7% among the former prisoners it employs.

Programme Director Dr Mary Harris said: “National Grid has pioneered business involvement in the rehabilitation of offenders and has successfully engaged major employers from five industrial sectors in the Offender Training and Employment Programme.

"The Programme gives offenders the opportunity to experience, often for the first time, worthwhile training and work in a “real life” environment. Job-specific training by employers leading to nationally-recognised qualifications and guaranteed, sustainable employment is a key to our success. “

The Green Paper proposals are focused on four main areas:

• Employers to drive the design and delivery of programmes to ensure training and qualifications equate to job opportunities.
• Piloting the ‘Offender Learner Campus’ and developing new centres of excellence and better links with mainstream education and training.
• Prison and probation services work together so that improving skills and helping more offenders get qualifications and jobs is seen as vital in reducing re-offending. New Regional Offender Managers, working with the Learning and Skills Council, will help match training to job openings.
• Motivating and engaging offenders, offering incentives and other influences (such as sentencing powers), along with training and other support to help more offenders into jobs.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!