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Wandsworth prison opens inmate training academy


A new vocational learning academy for inmates to train in data cabling and network installation has been opened at Wandsworth prison.

Demand for skilled data and network cabling installers outstrips supply by at least 20%. Cisco, one of the founders of the new training academy initiative - which is a public/private partnership - estimates that there is a 61,000 shortfall of properly qualified employees in the UK alone (close to 600,000 across Europe).

It hopes that training offenders in this area will help to reduce this gap and aim to reduce re-offending. Cisco currently trains people in 167 countries and has over 2m graduates worldwide.

On completion of training, offenders will be interviewed by BeOnsite, Bovis Lend Lease’s not-for-profit training company and, if successful, will be employed on release from prison. In addition, they can be provided with an option to continue training through the “Train to Gain” programme when in employment.

Skills minister David Lammy commented, on opening the training facility: "The Academy is a demonstration of the power of partnerships coming together to benefit employers, transform offenders’ lives and make society safer by reducing re-offending. I particularly applaud the plan to use Train to Gain to continue to build skills once offenders have left prison, helping deliver long-term benefits for employers and communities.

"I would encourage all employers to see the business benefits in linking with prisons to get offenders into training and into work."


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