Amey and Bell are working with the New Futures Network – the part of Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service that brokers partnerships between prisons and employers – to launch the Amey and Bell Group Academy at HMP Hewell and Featherstone.
Everyone who graduates from the academy will be offered a job with Bell.
Hewell and Featherstone are men’s prisons in Worcestershire and Staffordshire respectively.
The Bell partnership builds on Amey’s CRED (Clean, Rehabilitative, Enabling, Decent) programme, which runs in 24 prisons and provides prisoners with the opportunity to learn new skills and gain work experience on the Amey Prison Facilities Management team.
The new academy 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 into employment after their released.
Anna Higham, head of corporate & social responsibility at Bell Group, said: “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.”
Craig McGilvray, managing director of 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.”
Laurie Scott, New Futures Network’s employment broker for the West Midlands, added: “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.”