Forward launches innovative new Prison Apprenticeship Pathway

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

In August 2022, Forward launched a new pilot project called the Prison Apprentice Pathway (or PAP).

The project has been supported and funded by charitable trust Porticus UK.

The project provides a unique pathway to apprenticeships for people who are currently in prison – a pathway that doesn’t currently exist.

It works by identifying people who are within three months of release and might be suitable for an apprenticeship when they get out. The pathway involves a series of short sessions which not only provide information about apprenticeships to participants (many may have never heard of them), but help dispel myths people might have about what apprenticeships involve or who can benefit from them. Participants are offered:

  • Masterclasses with our Trainers and Employers on a range of hospitality topics
  • Support to access prison jobs or Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) in hospitality
  • Help to prepare and submit apprenticeship/job applications
  • Meetings with apprenticeship providers and employers to find out more about hospitality apprenticeships and setting up initial interviews
  • Support in the community to attend interviews and start apprenticeships, as well as wider pastoral and holistic support
  • Opportunities to join our growing Forward Connect peer support network.

The pathway also helps prepare people for the practical elements of what an apprenticeship will involve, so that by the time they are due for release they are ready to be placed in an apprenticeship immediately. We then work with our partner Umbrella Training to link them in with suitable apprenticeships upon release.

The PAP is being delivered in three prisons: HMP Isis in London and HMPs Hollesley Bay and Highpoint, both in Suffolk. It will support 100 people with at least 50% starting an apprenticeship standard in the hospitality sector. This programme will run for the next two years and will be closely aligned to Forward’s existing Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) Services in these prisons. Forward’s IAG Advisors are experienced careers advisors and will play an important part in ensuring prison leavers interested in hospitality and apprenticeships are progressed into this programme and pathway. In 2021/22 Forward supported over 2,500 participants in prison with careers advice.

The PAP is launched at an opportune time when there is a greater focus on improving social mobility in apprenticeships and ensuring ex-offenders can access good quality jobs and careers in the future, thereby ending the cycle of poor quality work, unemployment and potentially re-offending. The new Skills and Post Education Act is also now in place, which has a specific amendment aimed at enabling prison leavers to start apprenticeships whilst in prison.

Read the full blog post here.

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We are proud to work in partnership with many of the leading charities and treatment providers in the sector.

This content was created by The Forward Trust

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