Prison courses on the agenda - The Evesham Observer

Prison courses on the agenda

Evesham Editorial 26th Nov, 2018   0

EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston and celebrity maitre d’ Fred Sirieix met with Justice Secretary David Gauke to discuss what the Government could do to improve the employment prospects of those currently incarcerated in UK prisons.

During questions to Mr Gauke, Mr Huddleston highlighted the work of Right Course, a programme which trains prisoners to run restaurants in order to improve their employment prospects and requested a meeting with the Justice Secretary to discuss how similar schemes could be expanded.

The Right Course programme was set up by Fred Sirieix, best known for his role on the hit Channel 4 show First Dates, in December 2015 and transforms staff restaurants in prisons to high street-like operations using existing kitchens at no cost to the taxpayer.

Mr Sirieix describes the scheme as having been designed to ‘reduce re-offending by teaching the skills and values of hospitality so that our proteges can build their careers as a chef, waiter, or manager and live a law-abiding life upon release’.

The pilot of the programme is currently underway at HMP Isis and companies such as the Hilton Group and Land Securities, as well as charities including Novus and Redemption Roasters, are now partners.

Prisoners being trained by the programme have the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications and work experience that could potentially help them to gain employment in the hospitality sector on release.

Following the meeting, Mr Huddleston said: “Programmes like Right Course help to ensure while incarcerated, prisoners can gain the skills they need to be an attractive candidates for employers in the hospitality sector on release.

“Expanding these programmes would also benefit the hospitality sector in the long-term as it is currently facing significant skills and labour shortages, with around 700,000 vacancies forecast by 2020.

“The Justice Secretary gave Fred and I some useful suggestions for our next steps and I look forward to continuing to work with them both to expand the Right Course and similar schemes,” he added

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