Consultation on Prison Service’s draft Employability Strategy launched

Justice Minister David Ford has today launched a consultation on the Prison Service’s draft Employability Strategy.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) “Learning and Skills Strategic Plan 2010-13” committed NIPS to developing an Employability Strategy. The draft Employability Strategy sets the commitment of NIPS to enhance the skills, understandings and personal attributes that will make offenders more likely to gain successful employment at a future date.

The Minister said: “Improving offenders’ employability skills is essential to support their reintegration into society with, statistically, those who find employment after release much less likely to re-offend. A robust strategy is required to ensure that the services and opportunities available to offenders whilst in custody provide them with the best possible prospects for gaining employment on release.

“The development of an Employability Strategy is therefore a key step to help NIPS achieve its core purpose of improving public safety by reducing the risk of re-offending through the management and rehabilitation of offenders in custody.

“The strategy is designed to support offenders in gaining the skills required to help them find employment on release, for example by providing them with opportunities to gain work experience and by giving them access to employment-related services. Realising the strategy’s vision will also require partnership working across Government and with other service providers.”

This consultation on the draft strategy will run for a period of 17 weeks from June 18 to October 12.

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