News story

Proposals to get prisoners into jobs and out of crime

Government proposes reforms to the adult offender education system in England, with a greater emphasis on the results that education and training in prison delivers.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Government has launched a report outlining radical plans to break the cycle of reoffending, by developing a stronger link between learning in prisons and the vocational and employability skills that employers demand.

Download ‘Making Prisons Work: Skills for Rehabilitation’ (PDF, 360 Kb)

Read Further Education Minister John Hayes speech on the launch of the report

The report sets out the Government’s commitment to:

  • Increase the range and relevance of learning, focussing on the skills employers need.
  • Support more work opportunities in prison.
  • Improve links with employers, ensuring where possible a relationship with employers has been established before release.
  • Boost activity to prepare prisoners for apprenticeship opportunities on release.
  • Focus learning delivery towards the end of prisoners’ sentences - linking it directly to needs in the labour market on release.
  • Reshape careers advice provided in custody.
  • Trial outcome incentive payments - giving colleges and training providers a greater stake in delivering learning successfully.
  • Restructure the delivery of offender learning around the clusters of prisons within which prisoners normally move. This will bring more coherence to the system.

Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes said:

“Our goal is to make sure offenders understand there are viable alternatives to criminality. Rehabilitation through education works best when there is a strong link to meaningful work.

“I want to ensure that, for as many ex-offenders as possible, release is not followed by re-arrest, but by employment and re-integration into law-abiding society.

“We have ensured these reforms offer good value for the tax payer: money will go where it is most needed and will do most good.”


Published 18 May 2011