Prisoners will be given access to apprenticeships for the first time to break the cycle of crime, it has been announced.
It comes after research revealed that prisoners in work are significantly less likely to re-offend.
According to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), prisoners will be given access to “gold-standard” training so that they can gain the skills needed to secure work on release.
Prisoners are currently unable to access apprenticeships, but laws will be reformed so that prisoners at open prisons across England will be able to apply for training opportunities in industries such as hospitality, agriculture, logistics, and construction.
An open prison is a jail in which prisoners are trusted to complete sentences with minimal supervision.
The pilot scheme will be initially offered to up to 100 prisoners, before being rolled out across the whole of the country.
The latest research suggests that prisoners in work are significantly less likely to re-offend, while nine out of 10 employers say ex-offenders are “reliable, good at their job, punctual and trustworthy”.
Commenting on the initiative, Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, said: “We are introducing prisoner apprenticeships to give offenders the skills and training they need to secure a job on release.
“Getting offenders into work offers them a second chance to lead a more positive life and stay on the straight and narrow.
“Breaking the cycle of crime is critical to our mission to drive down reoffending, cut crime and protect the public.”
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