Andy Durham, Managing Director of the Labour Market Insight specialists, Emsi UK has written an excellent article that summarises major education and employment reforms in prisons and the anticipated role of LMI – https://www.fenews.co.uk/featured-article/17451-the-importance-of-lmi-in-the-government-s-new-education-and-employment-strategy-for-prisons
He points out David Gauke MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice stated in March 2018 :
“The vision at the heart of this strategy is to put offenders on a path to employment as soon as they step foot in prison. …We must ensure that more offenders leave prison with the basic skills that are essential to entering the workplace and with the skills employers need.” – https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prisons-reform-speech
The solution presented in the Strategy to this challenge includes replacing the current ONE3ONE Solutions system with a New Futures Network (NFN), which has been given the explicit remit to:
“Broker partnerships between prisons and employers that create opportunities for ex-prisoners on release, in addition to delivering purposeful activity in prison.”
The NFN will attempt to engage and persuade employers to take on ex-prisoners, with experts placed in every geographical prison group in a phased roll-out across England and Wales.
A big part of what NFN will do is to provide intelligence for governors about the requirements of employers in different sectors. This will include the identification of priority sectors with which prisons should engage, on an annual basis.
“These sectors will be selected using three criteria, including whether prisons have the capacity to provide the kind of training required, and whether work in the sectors is likely to present legal or bureaucratic barriers to ex-prisoners’ employment.
The other criteria upon which the priority sectors will be chosen is as follows:
“Labour Market Information (LMI), including the number of jobs in different sectors and the education level, or qualifications required, in those sectors.”
To enable them to achieve this, NFN will be using Emsi data to provide key intelligence both for the national hub, and to delve down into the regional nuances of occupation demand. According to the Education and Employment Strategy, they will be using the data to:
“…identify which sectors provide the most employment in an area, how employment in those sectors breaks down by occupational code and what typical wages and qualifications required for those jobs are.” (Andy Durham)
Read the Emsi report ‘Offender Learning Reform: Labour Market Insight for Bidding and Beyond’
In May 2018, Russell Webster blogged about this and produced an excellent summary – http://www.russellwebster.com/etestrat18/
Clearly for the new plans to have any effect, prison governors will clearly need to have a clear understanding of the skills needs of employers in their region and in the wider economy. This also has implications for all-age careers provision in regional and local areas.
We will be shortly publishing two new reports on this topic namely, Education and Training in Prisons in England Adriaanse, 2017) and An international Literature Review on Education and Training in Prisons (Hughes & Adriaanse, 2018). For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org