From education to employment

FE News Profiles Tribal Technology’s Sue Witt

When Sue Witt first arrived at Channings Wood Prison three and a half years ago, little did she realise that her teaching and guidance would create such a great impact on the educational needs of fellow prisoners.

With Sue having sole responsibility of running the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) centre on a daily basis, prisoners benefit from the easily accessible services provided by highly qualified Tribal Staff and visiting agencies like Job Centre Plus and CAB. Also, she was responsible for overseeing the IAG function across the whole prison where help is on hand to offenders when considering what options they wish to pursue after their release from prison.

A Brief History

Sue has been working with offenders for the past five and a half years and is now a Senior IAG adviser for Tribal Technology. Initially a visiting adviser, she was soon offered a permanent role at Channings Wood as a reward for her commitment towards offenders at the Devon ““based prison and for her dedication in helping offenders recognise their potential in identifying the opportunities for change and helping them to set realistic goals at an early stage for a better future.

After the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) announced their decision to issue leading education service providers Tribal Technology with a £10.7million tender to improve services for offenders in The South West of England region, it is clear that more needs to be done to stop offenders re-offending. The closer integration of the South West hub has been welcomed as this means a more consistent service can be offered across prisons which is reassuring for both staff and prisoners.

Making the Difference

Ms Witt believes that their work can make a real difference to the lives of prison inmates by adopting a structured approach and working more closely with other agencies inside and outside the prison. Increased self-esteem and motivation are some of the key factors inmates can work on when working towards set goals and aspirations concerning education and employment opportunities.

Despite being incredibly challenging, working with offenders has proved to be very enjoyable. “I find working with the offenders very satisfying, especially when they are really ready to make changes in their lives in order to support them in not returning to crime,” said Ms Witt.

However, she also commented on the disappointment after working with someone for a long period of time only to find them back behind bars; which is a perfect example that there is always room for improvement in the service currently being offered.

Kavita Trivedi

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