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Prisoners returning to work during and following their sentences: MPs hear from charities and employers including Timpson Group

7 March 2024

In its third evidence session examining ‘Prisons in Wales’, the Welsh Affairs Committee will be focusing on skills and employment, asking questions around how ex-offenders can return to the workplace following – and during – their sentences.

Across two panels, the session will hear from organisations and businesses that support prisoners to gain the necessary skills to secure employment.

In its first panel, MPs will hear from charities the St Giles Trust and The Clink to discuss the range of services for prison leavers seeking employment, and how training prisoners in areas ranging from catering to horticulture can help support their return to the community.

Timpson Group, Williams Homes (Bala) and Fulcrum Scaffold Safety & Training will then appear on the second panel. The Timpson Foundation uses Prison Training Academies to train and recruit prisoners, and its Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Darren Burns, will be sharing his experience with the Committee in recruiting and retaining ex-offenders and others who face barriers to employment. Williams Homes (Bala) works closely with HMP Berwyn to provide skills and employment opportunities in the construction sector, and Fulcrum Scaffold Training & Safety provides an accredited scaffolding course at HMP Cardiff and HMP Berwyn.

In addition to the witnesses sharing their own experiences in this area, the Committee will be keen to explore whether they believe the Welsh prison estate has adequate provision for education and skills training, whether there is sufficient cooperation between devolved and non-devolved bodies to support Welsh prisoners, and whether any additional support is required to reduce reoffending rates in Wales.

Witnesses 

Wednesday 13 March, Committee Room 5

From 09.30:

  • Nicky Park: Director of Criminal Justice/Women’s Services Development, The St Giles Trust
  • Yvonne Thomas: CEO, The Clink

From 10.15:

  • Darren Burns: Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Timpson Group
  • Tony Hughes: Commercial Director, Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd
  • David Abraham, Managing Director, Fulcrum Scaffold Training & Safety Ltd.

Further information

Image credit: HMPPS