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Education, skills and work


Prisoners who undertake learning are significantly less likely to reoffend, which makes education, skills and work an important part of their rehabilitation.

Your role will help improve a prison leaver’s chances of not reoffending by finding them a job on release. Many prisoners have low levels of education and may have been excluded from school, however qualifications and developing new skills increases the chances of employment.

Joining HMPPS to work in an education, skills and work role is hugely rewarding and offers you the chance to really make a difference by reducing reoffending.

You will also be provided with training and opportunities for career development, in a diverse and inclusive environment.

Things you need to know

Heads of education, skills and work provide an enhanced education service. This is focused on improving numeracy, literacy and qualifications, to increase prisoners’ prospects of finding work on release.

As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, you will:

  • hold a qualified teacher status with significant experience of leadership in the education sector
  • champion a ‘culture of learning’ within prison, working with other heads of function to promote the value of education and work with prisoners
  • be working with the education provider and prison industries, and will use their expertise to develop and maintain high quality provision to meet the needs of learners
  • work closely with prison staff to create a whole approach to education, whilst also building relationships in the community. These relationships will be essential in enabling someone to access a job when they leave prison and support their successful resettlement back into their community

Essential skills and experience

You will need:

  • a QTS, PGCE, Cert Ed or Level 5 in Education and Training
  • experience of operating at a middle or senior level in a primary, secondary, or post-16/adult education setting, including community and voluntary sectors
  • detailed knowledge of OFSTED/Estyn’s EIF (Education Inspection Framework) and further education and skills criteria

You will also need experience of:

  • working with a range of stakeholders including senior leaders, external organisations, staff and students
  • developing and delivering effective and engaging curricula for a wide range of learners
  • using data to set clear education outcomes and monitor progress towards these
  • implementing change within an educational context and strategies to support learners to secure their meaningful next steps (e.g. further training or employment)

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The learning and skills manager supports delivery of the strategic vision for all of education, skills and work within the prison.  

As a learning and skills manager, you will: 

  • be an advocate for education, skills and work with prisoners to inspire more people to gain qualifications and develop skills that support rehabilitation
  • lead the implementation of the prison curriculum to form an effective prisoner journey from reception to release
  • manage the procurement, delivery, performance and, crucially, the quality assurance and improvement activities across the prison’s Education, Skills and Work function
  • work with various stakeholders (both HMPPS colleagues and partnership agencies) in the Education, Skills and Work function to ensure prisoners time is spent meaningfully and to engage them in rehabilitation

Essential skills and experience

You will need: 

  • relevant qualifications in area of work including recognised training qualifications or be a NVQ assessor and have specialist knowledge/experience in relevant industry 
  • up to date knowledge and working practices in areas of expertise 
  • excellent relationship management, communication and influencing skills

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As an employment lead, you will: 

  • support prisoners into employment to reduce their likelihood of reoffending on release 
  • identify work-ready candidates and support them to apply for jobs organised by the New Futures Network and other employment partners
  • work with individuals to make sure they have the relevant training or accreditations they need for industry-specific jobs, as well as share and communicate job opportunities 

Essential skills and experience 

You will need: 

  • excellent relationship management skills 
  • great people skills and the ability to motivate people from different backgrounds 
  • experience of working to key performance indicators (KPIs) and a proven history of delivering to targets 
  • experience of working with people with challenging behaviour 
  • to preferably have a good understanding of the UK labour market and key industrial sectors 

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Working as a neurodiversity support manager is a unique and rewarding role within the prison system. 

No two days are the same. A typical week would involve holding group awareness raising sessions of neurodivergence and helping the prison to implement reasonable adjustments for people in prison. 

In this role, you will: 

  • be an advocate for neurodivergent prisoners, encouraging positive changes and opportunities to engage in rehabilitation 
  • work with various stakeholders within education, work and skills, developing the neurodiversity agenda, and develop more efficient ways to identify and support neurodivergent prisoners 
  • be working with individual prisoners to develop plans to support them through rehabilitation

Essential skills and experience 

You will need to have one of the following: 

  • a PGCE, Cert Ed or a Level 5 in Education and Training
  • a Level 4 Certificate in Supporting the Learning of Learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN)
  • extensive relevant work experience of working with neurodivergent learners in a custodial setting

In this role you will also need: 

  • a good understanding of neurodiversity 
  • the ability to design support mechanisms for these needs 
  • good relationship management and listening skills 
  • to think creatively and innovatively to improve services 

We are looking for someone who sees the bigger picture, sets goals and determines the steps the prison or the prisoner needs to engage effectively with the rehabilitative aspect of their sentence.

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As an activities manager, you will: 

  • ensure administration support is provided to assist in reducing reoffending through the provision of meaningful activity opportunities to prisoners from reception to release 
  • manage the administrative activities associated with the Activities Hub and the administrative staff 
  • oversee the allocation of prisoners to activities, including education, skills and work
  • support development of local policy, procedures and practice and ensure consistency of application
  • champion and provide feedback on education, skills and work good practice, to promote awareness for better and more efficient ways of working

Essential skills and experience 

  • You must complete specialist administrative training once in post
  • You will need to be able to make effective decisions and communicate these to others whilst managing a quality service throughout

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You will provide administrative support for the ID and Prisoner Banking Programme, which provides prisoners with ID to demonstrate their right to work and to set up bank accounts. This role provides prisoners with vital resettlement tools and seeks to reduce reoffending.

As an ID and banking administrator you will:

  • assess the need of prisoners who require ID and/or a basic bank account
  • support prisoners with applications via the Prisoner Banking Programme and ID programme. This includes following the relevant procedures, managing enquiries, and acting as the single point of contact for applicants and programme partners
  • help prepare prisoners to take up Release on Temporary Licence work placements and employment on release, by delivery of the Prisoner Banking Programme and ID programme
  • maintain financial records, collect and report relevant management information
  • support prison employment leads to identify and match candidates to job opportunities
  • promote the work of the employment hub across the prison

Essential skills and experience

You will need: 

  • to complete specialist administrative training once in post 
  • good communication skills 
  • strong IT skills
  • to be delivery focused
  • willingness to share learning and best practice

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Would you like to help prisoners learn new skills in our prison workshops, increasing their chances of finding a job on release? 

From running our large-scale manufacturing of textiles, engineering and woodwork through to print production or working with fresh produce or livestock, you will supervise prisoners. You will also help them complete accredited qualifications. 

Find out more about these roles by visiting our prison industries page.

You will need to provide:

  • a CV including details of any relevant qualifications and experience. To ensure our recruitment process is fair, you will need to anonymise your CV
  • several short-written statements in your application

You will need to answer questions that outline your previous experience.

The ‘Great Place to Work for Veterans‘ initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme for those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs in the Civil Service.

In this way, veterans continue to serve their country, and we bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experiences into the Civil Service – an environment, which recognises and values previous service in the Armed Forces.