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Amey and Bell Group team up to launch prison academy

Amey and building maintenance firm, Bell Group, have teamed up with the New Futures Network – the specialist part of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service that brokers partnerships between prisons and employers – to create a series of academies within the prison environment that will help to help transform lives and reduce reoffending.

The new academy, which is being launched at HMP Hewell and Featherstone will provide prisoners with the opportunity to gain an industry-recognised vocational qualification in painting and decorating and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card to help them move straight into employment when back in the community.

Everyone who successfully graduates from the academy will have the opportunity for a role at Bell as part of a broader effort to reduce re-offending and help the construction industry tackle its skills shortage.

The partnership builds on the successful Amey CRED (Clean, Rehabilitative, Enabling, Decent) programme, which currently runs in 24 prisons and provides prisoners with the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable work experience on the Amey Prison Facilities Management team.

Craig McGilvray, Managing Director, Amey Secure Infrastructure said: “As a business, we are focused on working with our supply chain and customers to build social value into our operations. One way we are doing this is by helping to transform offenders’ lives for the better. Not just throughout their sentence but by supporting them as they integrate back into society and the workplace.

“The launch of the new academy in partnership with the Bell Group strengthens our commitment to tackle economic inequality by developing skills and creating jobs to ensure individuals are given the opportunity to develop their careers no matter what their background or history is.”

Anna Higham, Head of Corporate & Social Responsibility at Bell Group commented: “Expanding our Academy Model into the Prison network is a very exciting time for us. In a growing industry that has a severe skills shortage we are looking to engage with as many people as possible who are passionate about construction. Working with Amey and the Prison Service to achieve this whilst also helping to reduce re-offending is a defining moment for us and we can’t wait to start this journey.”

Laurie Scott, New Futures Network, Employment Broker for the West Midlands said: “Getting more prison leavers into a steady job is a key part of the Government’s plan to cut crime by reducing reoffending. We’re looking forward to getting these academies up and running and to helping more people to secure long-term, stable employment.”

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