The Clink Charity has identified the first students who will take part in its new apprenticeship programme, run in partnership with HIT Training. This will be the first time that apprenticeships have been delivered to serving prisoners.
While many of these students have already been working in Clink training schemes and studying towards industry standard hospitality qualifications, the apprenticeship programme provides an additional pathway to employment which is linked to vocational training.
On release, candidates will then work towards full completion of the course and their apprenticeship. Part of the study also includes a minimum level of English and maths, which is a condition of completion.
Students will also receive support and mentoring from The Clink’s regional support team. This level of support includes, but is not limited to, assisting with benefits, housing, reintegration and relocation as well as many other aspects such as food, accommodation and childcare.
This support ensures learners are given the help they need to reintegrate successfully into society on release – and are matched to a job that fits their skills and lifestyle.
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Apprenticeships are crucial to giving people from all backgrounds, no matter their circumstance, the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity while addressing skills gaps and helping to grow our economy.”
“So, it is brilliant news that The Clink Charity are beginning to embrace apprenticeships, transforming lives, and creating second chances for inmates. The Clink Charity understand that providing opportunities to all will help us build a skills nation, I hope more follow their lead.”
Yvonne Thomas, Chief Executive of The Clink Charity, said: “We are so excited to be working alongside HIT Training to deliver this fantastic new scheme that has the potential to transform people’s lives.
“People in prison are looking for ways to embrace change and start again – and this programme allows them to do just that, by securing employment with a national employer on release.”
Jill Whittaker, Executive Chair at HIT Training said: “HIT Training is delighted to be working in partnership with our friends at The Clink to support prisoners into apprenticeships.
“We believe that careers change lives, and that those people undertaking these special programmes will leave prison with a career to look forward to. We have been working toward our first prisoner apprenticeships with The Clink for some time, and simply can’t wait to get started!”