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Inside Prospects: National Careers Service - In Custody Service

30 January 2013

What does the In Custody Service do?

The service aims to increase work opportunities for medium stay offenders by giving them access to mainstream careers IAG (information, advice and guidance), helping them to overcome the barriers to employment they face on release. More specifically, it tries to set medium and long-term career goals at the beginning of a prisoner's sentence, and in the last 12 months of their sentence, identify learning and work needs in the prisoner's area of resettlement.

Additionally, the In Custody Service provides skills assessment services to individuals with identified skills needs, enabling them to produce a customised Skills Action Plan for each customer to keep. This might involve getting customers to reconsider their career options because of the nature of their offence, and working with them to enable positive disclosure of their offences to employers.

What is Prospects' involvement with the National Careers Service and its In Custody Service?

Prospects has been delivering the National - since its launch in April 2012. Prospects started delivering the In Custody Service component from 1st August 2012; before then, NCS was not offered to customers in custody. Prospects is now one of the largest providers of custodial careers information and advice in the UK, having first delivered OLASS IAG services, then NCS to offenders in prisons across Greater London, subsequently winning a contract to deliver IAG in the 12 prisons in Yorkshire and the Humber region. The teams work closely with many other agencies including Jobcentre Plus, Local Enterprise Partnerships and voluntary sector organisations.

Yorkshire and Humber prisons cover all types of custodial estate, including male and female, local, category C, high security and a privately run prison in Doncaster. In 2012, in London alone, 15,000 career advice sessions, and over 1,400 'induction' sessions for offenders were held. In Yorkshire and Humber, 8,500 customers have benefited from the service to date.

For more information, contact Melanie Wheeler, In Custody Operations Manager for Yorkshire and Humber,

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