The UK has one of the highest rates for reoffending in the world, with over half of UK prison leavers reoffending within the first year after release. This is due to a lack of opportunities and support for ex-prisoners to find long-term employment – costing the government billions, and creating an ongoing cycle of crime in our communities.
Now, a new partnership seeks to break that cycle by offering more opportunities to prison leavers. City & Guilds Foundation and Breakthrough have partnered to allow prisoners to start apprenticeships whilst inside – which will help open up work opportunities, stop prison leavers from reoffending and give employers the opportunity to fill skills gaps by engaging with an untapped talent pool.
Founded in March 2020, Breakthrough was the first charity to focus on delivering pre-apprenticeship training in prison and technology apprenticeships on release.
The funding from City & Guilds Foundation has supported Breakthrough with running one of its pre-apprenticeship programmes in the community with those individuals who have a lived experience of the justice system. The 8-week programme covered soft skills and mindset training alongside technical training projects.
Dee Norval, Founder of Breakthrough said:
“I am a specialist in criminal justice and through my work I could see a huge gap in the provision of high-quality training in prisons that would allow prisoners to access work when they left prison. Giving prisoners the opportunity to earn a decent salary upon release is so important as it drastically reduces their chances of reoffending.”
“I founded Breakthrough in 2020 with a focus on delivering pre apprenticeship training whilst in prison and technology apprenticeships upon release. We have been working with lots of organisations who support delivering the programme or provide apprenticeships – so we know the motivation of having a secure employment contract to move into is highly motivating to prisoners, and in turn gives employers a skilled and loyal workforce.”