MITIE and A4e, two of the UK’s leading public services providers, have joined forces to launch the first MITIE Enterprise Centre at Hollesley Bay Prison, Suffolk, on Monday 31 January.
The MITIE Enterprise Centre will offer offenders industry-level training in plumbing, plastering, painting & decorating and bricklaying. Wider key employment skills, including timekeeping, communication and motivation, will also be regularly assessed through appraisals.
On completion of the course, all participants will receive an electronic record of their performance standards and achievements – a MITIE Passport – to ease the transition into work.
The programme, in partnership with HMP & YOI Hollesley Bay and the Skills Funding Agency has strict selection criteria, with each candidate interviewed by both A4e and HMP & YOI Hollesley Bay before being taken on. This ensures that both the provider and learners fully understand the commitment, resources and input required to complete the learning.
Colin Dobell, Managing Director of MITIE’s Care and Custody business, said: “MITIE recognises the importance of improving the employability of offenders and the correlation between sustainable employment and reducing re-offending. The MITIE Enterprise Centre gives participants experience of actual industry standards and conditions and is a fantastic platform for them to fit into a MITIE workplace, or that of another commercial organisation.”
Ronnie Coyle, A4e’s Director of Operations for Justice, said; “We’re delighted to be working with MITIE through this new centre. Getting national employers involved in offender training is absolutely crucial to ensure a better transition into work. All our work in the justice field shows the value of partnerships, to ensure offenders receive the personal support and industry standard training they need to develop and find sustainable employment.”
Declan Moore Governor of HMP & YOI Hollesley Bay commented: “Hollesley Bay is delighted to be in partnership with both MITIE and A4e. This venture offers a wonderful opportunity for offenders, whose chances of desisting from further crime, on release into society, are greatly enhanced through the dignity of employment. This is indeed big society in action, with two major companies working alongside the Public Sector Prison Service.”