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Stephen Crabb visits Cardiff Prison to see rehabilitation schemes

Welsh Secretary says: ‘Training prisoners to help them get jobs on release makes social and economic sense’

The Secretary of State for Wales yesterday (6 July) visited Cardiff Prison to see the innovative schemes that are helping to equip prisoners with job skills. He also visited The Clink, the unique training restaurant where the catering staff are prisoners.

Stephen Crabb visited the prison accompanied by the Director of NOMS (National Offender Management Service) Sarah Payne and prison Governor Steve Cross. On his tour he met prisoners learning new skills at a range of workshops and honing their skills for the job market after release.

Discussions focused on the rehabilitation of prisoners in Wales and the opportunities that exist for ex-offenders to get back into the work market and contribute to society and the Welsh economy.

Following his tour of the prison, Mr Crabb visited The Clink restaurant. Situated next to the prison, The Clink is staffed by prisoners in the South Wales area – and is rated on the Tripadvisor dining recommendations website.

It specialises in serving organic Welsh produce, including venison, wild boar and rhubarb. Prisoners study for NVQs in hospitality, catering and customer service. Reoffending rates among prisoners who have worked there – some 35 during any given year – average 12.5% against the national average of 47%.

Mr Crabb said:

Finding a job is hard enough without having just served a prison term. I am interested to see the really practical ways of trying to turn an ex-offender into someone who can go to a employer with useful skills to offer.

Ensuring people leaving prison have a decent chance of getting a job is good not only for them, but for society as a whole. It cuts down on re-offending and the risk of drifting back into criminal habits. The statistics show that this approach works.

The Clink restaurant is a great example of how you can train for work in a realistic setting. This is a proper working restaurant with all the stress and pressure of the real thing. I hope those who learn the catering trade here go on to rewarding jobs.


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