25 October 2022
Under the Commissioner’s Community Grants scheme, PET received a grant of over £5,000 to provide vital educational opportunities to learners, as well as tailored advice and guidance from PET’s expert Advice team.
Nick* is studying PET’s Business Start-up course. Having worked as a self-employed welder before entering prison, Nick has been sharing his skills with his peers, teaching others how to weld in the prison workshop. With the help of his PET-funded course, he aims to open his own mobile welding business after his release.
Like 47% of people in prison, Nick had no formal qualifications when starting his sentence, but he completed diplomas in Carpentry and Fabrication provided by his prison in order to kick-start his learning journey.
Nick wrote to PET: “I enjoy building bespoke things as a hobby and feel there is a gap in the market for a mobile welder, but I’ve got no experience in starting up my own business.”
He added that the course would “teach me what I have to do to start my own business up outside… [so I] know what needs to be done and have tools to do so.”
Nick’s Education Manager indicated that his course is linked to both his Learning and Sentence plans, writing: “We feel it will give him both the underpinning knowledge and confidence to make a success of his business once released.”
Another learner from South Yorkshire, Gina*, wanted to expand on her existing experience gained while working in social care before prison.
After discussing her plans with her family and prison education staff, she chose one of PET’s Health and Safety courses, provided by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).
In her application to PET, Gina wrote that the widely recognised NEBOSH qualification would complement her existing qualifications in social care and childcare, boosting her employability as she plans for life after prison.
Gina wrote: “I believe this course will give me a great advantage in employment on release… it will also help with my personal development by increasing my confidence.” She added: “I’d really like to demonstrate to my family that I have the capability to commit to something like this.”
The prison’s Distance Learning Advisor noted that when Gina and her family researched potential future jobs in her local area, “Health and Safety really stood out as realistic and in high demand.”
After completing her course, Gina aims to study additional courses in Fire Safety and Environmental Management through PET in order to build her skillset further.
Other learners from South Yorkshire supported by the Commissioner’s grant are studying courses including Bookkeeping, Accounting and GCSE Maths.
* Names have been changed
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