The Secretary of State for Wales today (6 July) visits Cardiff Prison to see the innovative schemes that are helping to equip prisoners with job skills. He will also visit The Clink, the unique training restaurant where the catering staff are prisoners.
Stephen Crabb will visit the prison accompanied by the Director of NOMS (National Offender Management Service) Sarah Payne and prison Governor Steve Cross. On his tour he will meet prisoners learning new skills at a range of workshops and honing their skills for the job market after release.
Discussions will focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners in Wales and the opportunities that exist for ex-offenders to get back into the work market and contribute to society and the Welsh economy.
Following his tour of the prison, Mr Crabb will visit The Clink restaurant. Situated next to the prison, The Clink is staffed by prisoners in the South Wales area – and is rated on the Tripadvisor dining recommendations website.
It specialises in serving organic Welsh produce, including venison, wild boar and rhubarb. Prisoners study for NVQs in hospitality, catering and customer service.
Mr Crabb said:
Finding a job is hard enough without having just served a prison term. I am interested to see the really practical ways of trying to turn an ex-offender into someone who can go to a employer with useful skills to offer.
Ensuring people leaving prison have a decent chance of getting a job is good not only for them, but for society as a whole. It cuts down on re-offending and the risk of drifting back into criminal habits. The statistics show that this approach works.
The Clink restaurant is a great example of how you can train for work in a realistic setting. This is a proper working restaurant with all the stress and pressure of the real thing. I hope those who learn the catering trade here go on to rewarding jobs.