Ministry of Justice
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Young offenders given work experience by top businesses

Young people leaving custody in London and Manchester will get invaluable work experience and mentoring with leading British businesses.

Companies including Premiership Rugby Clubs, Greggs, Timpson and the Business Design Centre, and will offer tailored placements to provide young people with the training and skills needed to gain employment and lead a life free from crime. As well as work shadowing, placements could include mentoring and interview skills training.

Justice Minister Andrew Selous said:

Too often young people leave custody without the skills and qualifications they need to get on in life and turn their backs on crime. This has to change if we want them to become hardworking, law-abiding members of society.

By giving these young people the right training and experience to find work, as well as making sure they have an excellent network of support, we can tackle some of the enormous challenges they face in life and stop them going on reoffend.

On top of offering young offenders work experience, the government is also improving the support they receive upon release. Partners from the custodial estate, youth-offending teams and local authorities will come together to help resettle young offenders back into the community and tackle any barriers they may face, such as finding accommodation, building relationships with their families or getting support for drug or alcohol problems.

In pilots this approach led to 30% more young people having education, training and employment placements arranged, and there were more stable accommodation placements and lower arrest on licence rates.

Currently more than two thirds of young people leaving custody go on to commit crime again within a year. The initiatives launched yesterday are part of the government’s plans to put education and training at the heart of youth custody to help young people get their lives back on track and stop them reoffending. As well as introducing Secure Colleges, the government is also doubling the amount of education received by young people in Young Offenders Institutions (YOIs).

For both initiatives the areas were selected due to high custody rates and if successful, they could be rolled out nationally in future.

Further information

  1. More than 20 employers have joined the Turn Around to Work initiative in London and Greater Manchester to offer training, corporate mentoring and work experience opportunities.
  2. The government is also bringing together partners from the custodial estate, youth-offending teams, local authorities and the community to improve resettlement in South and West Yorkshire, South London, North East London and the East Midlands.
  3. The 4 new Resettlement Consortia are:
  • North East London: Waltham Forest, Enfield, Newham, Hackney, Redbridge and Islington
  • South London: Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Croydon, Greenwich and Wands worth
  • East Midlands: Derby, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham and Leicester
  • South and West Yorkshire: Doncaster, Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham (South Yorkshire) and Leeds, Kirklees, Bradford, Wakefield and Calderdale (West Yorkshire)

This approach has already been successfully piloted in the Greater Manchester and South West. Research showed that 30% more young people had education, training and employment placements arranged, and there were more stable accommodation placements and lower arrest on licence rates. The new consortia build on that success.

There are currently 4 Secure Training Centres (STCs), 6 YOIs and nine Secure Childrens’ Homes (SCHs) that hold young people custodial sentences.

In 2013/14, 2,226 young people were sentenced to immediate custody and in August 2014 1,163 young people were held in the youth secure estate (including 18 year olds). The number of young people in custody has consistently fallen year on year. See the Youth custody data page for more information.


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