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Access Points for Employers in Prisons

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 3 years ago

Established in 2004, Learning Curve Group (LCG) is a national training and education specialist. They support over 50,000 learners each year including ex-offenders and work with a variety of businesses throughout the UK to enhance their performance and productivity.

LCG deliver programmes that support local communities. Individuals with a conviction can gain skills in business administration, accountancy, IT, construction, rail, person training and beauty. They are partnered with employers, charities and community hubs and Job Centre Plus so that candidates can progress onto paid employment or apprenticeships. They also offer inside learning opportunities and support ROTL and YOI candidates. This blended learning can be online or through an assessment book format, with tutor guidance.

I am really enjoying the course and appreciate the opportunity to improve my skills and get something to build my life. This course for people like me is best chance to improve our life. The environment is excellent and friendly. My tutor is really helpful. On this course I am getting experience. I would like to say thank you to Gordon and Learning Curve and I hope to progress onto a level 1 diploma.

-Kamran Alairad, LCG Learner

One LCG candidate Paul had been long-term unemployed having previously served a term in prison. As part of his training at the Middlesbrough Skills Academy, his confidence blossomed and he was able to go from strength to strength, gaining necessary qualifications for a career in painting and decorating.

I'm currently doing a level 1 Painting & Decorating course with Learning Curve. I am enjoying the course there is a friendly atmosphere in the centre. My tutor is very helpful and knowledgeable. I'm enjoying the whole experience and look forward to progressing on to my level 2. I want to try and build up my confidence and gain my qualification and the skills I need.

-Ruth Crown, LCG Learner

LCG assist over 4,500 employers each year with their workplace training plans. As part of this, they run a classroom-based pathway to employment course and workshops that are flexible and can be set up wherever there is a need, particularly beneficial for ex-offender candidates. This focuses on baseline requirements sought-after by employers including interview skills, CV writing, business admin, mental health, safeguarding, equality and diversity, nutrition and health.

All materials look of a very good quality, support for staff has been very important to the staff members who have learning difficulties or struggle slightly.

-Victoria Murphy, Carewatch Care Services, Employer

The learners are able to transform their lives through learning and see that their contribution and the little things make a difference. It gives a sense of worth for the learners, to get them feeling that 'I did that.' This positive attitude will stead them well in a working environment.

-Darren Welsh, Business Development Manager LCG

One of the major entry points for employers in prisons is through workshops. Workshops offer the unique opportunity for businesses to enter the prison environment and meet potential applicants. This provides invaluable insight and breaks down the barriers of a criminal record and the negative preconceptions of society, opening up untapped talent for the employer. In workshops, employer-employee speed dating and jobs fair environments, employers are often impressed by the wealth of talent and use these opportunities to begin to examine their business, open up their recruitment and hire skilled individuals.

Outside of a prison setting, workshops and courses, such as LCG's pathways to employment, work in the same way and help prepare the candidate for entry into the working environment, meeting the expectations of the employer from the very get-go.

If you are an employer who wants to upskill your workforce, please do get in touch with the LCG via their website.