From education to employment

City & Guilds Foundation’s £1m Big Idea Fund to reduce prisoner re-offending

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City and Guilds Foundation is inviting expressions of interest from charities, prison governors and training providers – as the next stage of its £1m Big Idea Fund is rolled out – to support a reskilling of prisoners, ensuring they go on to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives following their release from prison.

City & Guilds Foundation is bringing business representatives together from across the sector to collaborate and help transform how offenders are supported into employment.

The Foundation aims to reverse the current trend of three in ten (29%) of the 75,000 prisoners released from sentences every year, who go on to re-offend, at an estimated social and economic cost of £18bn according to the Ministry of Justice.

It is estimated that, with significant investment, over £500 million* a year could be channelled back into the UK economy, to help address current skills shortages in the UK workforce and unlock the potential of the prison population.

Ian Bickers, Prison Group Director, London Prisons said:

“I am delighted to support this City & Guilds Foundation initiative. I have seen first-hand the positive impact such innovative training has had across the prison estate – both on individual ex-offenders and the employers they work for, on release.

“We have been really impressed by the difference these projects are making – from launching the initial round of funding, to the next round of innovative ideas. The Big Idea Fund has immense potential to transform the delivery of skills training in prisons.”

Faiza Khan MBE, City & Guilds’ Corporate Affairs and Foundation Director, said:

The impact of the initial funded programmes has been inspiring. We remain committed to unlocking the potential of people who are leaving prison by supporting them to start careers, while simultaneously addressing the UK’s skills shortages.

“We’re really excited to see more innovative ideas coming through that will allow even more ex-offenders to go on and lead fulfilling lives.”

For more information, or to submit an expression of interest, please visit the City & Guilds Foundation website.

* A City and Guilds skills qualification in prison is valued at £34,000 per year saving to taxpayers by the New Economic Unit database in re-offending and social costs. Assuming 75,000 prisoners are released each year, if one-fifth (15,000) do not reoffend, the value to the economy is £504m each year. Source: MOJ JDL, 2019 and New Economy Unit.

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