'Military style' education will boost prisoners' skills
Published: 2nd Aug 2012 15:34:11
Prisoners are to be given 'military style' maths and English lessons to boost their chances of finding work once they are released.
The compulsory courses will consist of 35 hours of lessons over two or three weeks with more help if needed.
The classes will begin in six jails as part of a drive to cut re-offending.
Skills Minister John Hayes said: "We are determined to make prisons places where people learn skills to build lives beyond crime."
The new courses are to be based on a successful programme which gives new military recruits intensive maths and literacy courses relevant to their day-to-day work.
Follow-up research by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education has shown that the courses not only boosted the the recruits' basic skills but their confidence and future careers. This was true even of those who had poor experiences of learning at school.
The jail version of the scheme will start very soon after a prisoner arrives and will be linked to other popular courses like construction or painting and decorating.
Mr Hayes said: "This pilot is about ensuring prisoners are more likely to work than commit crime when they leave.
"Breaking the damaging cycle of re-offending and re-imprisonment will not only turn around the lives of countless prisoners, it will also prevent the suffering of their potential victims and reduce the burden on the taxpayer."
Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "Crime blights lives both for the offender and the victim. That is why we are piloting this programme in prisons so we can give prisoners the basic skills they need to get their lives on track."
Prisoners' basic skills and their learning needs will be assessed at the beginning of their sentences and the courses will start soon afterwards. The new programme stems from a new offender learning strategy developed by the government last year.
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said the courses could particularly help prisoners on short sentences to "emerge from custody better equipped to be positive citizens rather than return to offending".
Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon said: "Just 36% of people leaving prison go into education, training or employment. Intensive training in basic maths and English linked to vocational courses should be a useful boost.
"However, government ministers must bear in mind the high numbers of people in prison with a learning disability or difficulty and work out how best to respond specifically to their needs."
Starting in August, six jails in north west England will pilot the programme: Manchester, Garth, Kirkham, Lancaster Farms, Styal and Altcourse. It will be rolled out in other prisons if it is successful.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. 'Military style' education will boost prisoners' skills [Online] (Updated 2nd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444164/Military-style-education-will-boost-prisoners-skills [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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