6. Education and work in prison

Courses are normally available to help prisoners get new skills, eg learning to read and write, use computers and do basic maths. Most prisoners get an Individual Learning Plan listing courses and training.

Qualifications and skills

Most courses lead to qualifications that are recognised by employers outside prison, eg GCSEs or NVQs. Prisoners may be able to do a distance learning course, eg Open University.

A prisoner can learn skills eg woodwork, engineering or gardening.

Working in prison

Many prisoners get the chance to work while carrying out their sentence, eg making clothes and furniture or electrical engineering.

This is done in prison workshops and is normally paid work.

Prisoners can also work around the prison itself - eg in kitchens and laundries.

A ‘low-risk’ prisoner may be allowed to work in the community.