A new Halfords academy where prisoners will be trained as cycle mechanics has been launched at HMP Drake Hall. As well as learning to maintain and repair bikes, they will also work on customer service and interview skills.
Halfords has already set up a cycle mechanic training academy inside Onley Prison near Rugby, but the new facility is the first for female prisoners.
The firm says it will offer the best candidates the opportunity to become full-time members of staff upon their release.
Around 28 prisoners on the scheme at HMP Onley have gone on to secure full-time employment and Halfords says that the level of retention of academy graduates has been higher than of other sales floor workers.
Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who opened the HMP Drake Hall facility, said:
“I am delighted to be opening the Halfords Training Academy at HMP Drake Hall today. This is an excellent scheme which gives women the vocational skills and education they need in preparation for release. It will give them a new start – helping to reduce reoffending and turn their backs on crime.
“We are committed to helping all offenders turn their lives around so they don’t get stuck in the cycle of crime. We want to see offenders entering the workplace and making a success of their lives.”