From education to employment

Halfords open first Training Academy for female prisoners

Minister Lee opened the academy which will help prisoners get the skills they need to turn their backs on crime.

  • New academy to be launched by Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee at HMP Drake Hall – the first of its kind to open in a women’s prison
  • Providing specialist skills to female offenders to help them find work on release and turn their backs on crime
  • Part of government’s commitment to make prisons places of self-discipline, hard work and reform to reduce reoffending and keep the public safe


The first Halfords Training Academy to be opened in a women’s prison was launched today at Drake Hall prison in Staffordshire by Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee.

The pioneering academy, which is already successfully running at HMP Onley in Rugby for male prisoners, helps offenders gain vital vocational experience. Around 28 prisoners on the scheme at HMP Onley have gone on to secure full-time employment.

As part of the course, offenders learn vital skills to maintain and repair bicycles whilst working on their customer service and interview skills.

Providing prisoners with these valuable training opportunities and bringing employers into custody will help prisoners get jobs on release – reducing reoffending and helping to keep the public safe.

Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee said:

I am delighted to be opening the Halfords Training Academy at HMP Drake Hall today.

This is an excellent scheme which gives women the vocational skills and education they need in preparation for release. It will give them a new start – helping to reduce reoffending and turn their backs on crime.

We are committed to helping all offenders turn their lives around so they don’t get stuck in the cycle of crime. We want to see offenders entering the workplace and making a success of their lives.

Related Articles