According to the Prison and Courts Reform Bill, nationally 47% of the prison community have no formal qualifications on entry into prison, with 13% reporting to never having a job, and 46% of all prisoners re-offending within a year of release.
The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership is committed to improving these statistics in the region , and building prison/business partnerships, expanding on the successful work, local provider Novus, has delivered to date.
A strong partnership has been created to tackle the need for more support for these people, with Humber LEP, Novus and HMP Humber at the helm. A pilot project is being developed to influence the types of skills training delivered within the prison via engagement with local business to develop work and employability activities. This will include job brokerage and developing tailor-made training packages to meet employer needs; this can include the continuation of any qualifications that had been delivered in the workforce prior to a prison sentence.
HMP Humber has an excellent record in delivering work-based skills and has established many mutually beneficial relationships with employers. One such example is the partnership with B&Q which saw the successful deliver of a substantial contract on a safety initiative for window blinds.
Mark Grasby, National Operations Manager for Novus, said:
“Novus made comprehensive recommendations to the Coates Review, based upon 25 years of expertise in the sector. We’re encouraged to see highlighted the role of employers, and creating an environment where they can directly contribute to the curriculum – so offenders are re-entering society with the skills employers actually want to see. In the Humber region we have been working closely with the Humber LEP to assist in this link-up with employers. Novus has always recognised the support that the business community can provide in driving the curriculum and providing a route-way that will assist the prison community through the gate and back into general society.
“The Humber has some excellent training facilities across all four local authority areas, and excellent partnerships with local education and training providers through the Employment and Skills Board group. These can also support the talent pool residing temporarily with the prison community, to enter the workforce upon release.
As highlighted in the report, we firmly believe that this joint approach with communities and employers can make a significant impact on making prisons an effective solution to the reduction of reoffending, whilst assisting commerce in filling skills gaps and providing an economic benefit to society as a whole”.
Kishor Tailor, Chief Exec. of the Humber LEP added;
“We are excited to be working in this high-profile area with our partners Novus and HMP Humber to break down the barriers and unlock the potential in the Humber”.