Milton Keynes College Offender Learning calls for celebration at HMP Featherstone
During October, Graduation ceremonies took place at HMP Featherstone where learners from the Timpson and RMF Construction Academies had their achievements celebrated. The Graduation was attended by key members of the Milton Keynes College Offender Learning team, the Employment Academy team, and staff members from HMP Featherstone.
The Timpson Academy at HMP Featherstone provides learners with the opportunity to acquire a number of vital skills to support them in either gaining a job upon release with Timpson, or with the skillset to assist them in attaining future employment. Learners are able to take part in realistic, practical work, with a clear focus on the Retail industry.
The RMF Academy Learners also celebrated their recent accomplishments – completing their PTS Course with RMF Construction. The RMF Academy has a fundamental focus on the construction industry and provides vocational training and employment opportunities for offenders whilst in custody, with the possibility of leading to employment, and further training upon release.
These successful partnerships enable HMP Featherstone to support the delivery of the courses and ensure the best possible chance for every learner to succeed.
During the event, learners who had completed the Academies shared their positive comments. One learner commented: “The course was at the right standard for me and ran at the right pace, the tutor provided me with the necessary guidance and information. Overall the course was brilliant it took me out of my comfort zone and challenged my thinking which is now expanding.”
Another said that he enjoyed learning and working with new people, and was looking forward to a fresh start with Timpsons.
Commenting on the celebrations, Paul Johnson, Education Manager at HMP Featherstone, said: “The Employment Academy model is an extremely successful partnership between Milton Keynes College, HMP Featherstone and real employers. It’s a fantastic opportunity for offenders to develop their employability skills and to take on real work opportunities on release.”
Building upon this, HMP Featherstone also held a successful Training & Employment Event on the 1st November. Held in the prison, the event was aimed at prisoners six months prior to release to help them make contacts that would be useful for their future resettlement plans. Learners had the opportunity to meet local and national employers as well as further education providers.
Gill Coates, Learning & Skills Manager at HMP Featherstone, said: “We are very proud of our partnerships and want to thank the dedicated staff and all the partners who make it happen, as well as most importantly recognising the achievement of our learners trying to plan a brighter future for themselves and their families. Our partnership with internal and external agencies and employers is key to the success of the Academy model.”