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College wins contract to up-skill prison workforce

Date 29 Jun 2007

Prison staff across the country are to be assessed by a North East college in future, after Newcastle College won the contract to provide the NVQ in Custodial Care to prison officers across England and Wales. From 1 September 2007 all new Prison Officers will need to complete their Custodial Care NVQ level 3 before progressing their career in the Prison Service.

The College already holds a close relationship with the Prison Service and due to the college’s track record, the quality of its bid and a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the Prison Service, it was chosen to help up-skill the prison workforce and asses the new NVQ in 127 prisons UK wide from as far south as Portsmouth to as far north as Acklington.

Jackie Fisher, Principal and Chief Executive at Newcastle College, said: “Newcastle College is delighted to be awarded the national contract to assess NVQs in Custodial Care for Prison Service staff. We are committed to working with the Prison Service and other partners to help develop a highly motivated work force who will have the skills and competencies to perform their duties. We look forward to developing this partnership.”

Newcastle College already has a partnership with Northumberland and Durham prisons, the Probation Service and the Youth Justice Board after securing a successful bid from the Learning and Skills Council to deliver a new integrated Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLAS.)

It is the only College in the region to deliver the service and the aim is to ensure that offenders in both prisons and those supervised in the community have access to learning and skills development to enable them to be able to hold down a job and play a positive role in society.

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