Prisoners prove they’re cut out for helping fill skills gap

Gemma Lofthouse and Tina Fernandes (37787490)

PRISONERS at HMP La Moye have learned a new skill as part of their rehabilitation – cutting hair.

Six inmates completed the diploma programme, consisting of a six-hour training session each week. The course, which was provided by Highlands College, culminated in practical assessments and four written examinations.

One prisoner, who has been released from prison since finishing the course, has been offered a job as a barber.

And other prisoners are now able to offer to cut fellow prisoners’ hair.

The course aims to rehabilitate prisoners by teaching them a trade to assist their reintegration into society. Additionally, the programme aims to instil goals and determination in prisoners, allowing them to gain employment and support themselves upon their release.

It is hoped that the new scheme will also help fill a “skills gap” in Jersey with a lack of Islanders trained in this area.

Other vocational courses, including barista training, are likely to be introduced soon.

Highlands College tutor Tina Fernandes said: “We are excited to introduce the barbering workshop as part of our curriculum, enhancing our commitment to rehabilitation and preparing our population for successful release as a better neighbour. This course not only equips participants with valuable skills but also instils a sense of pride and purpose.”

Jo Terry-Marchant, principal of Highlands College, added: “We value our partnership with La Moye Prison. It is complementary to our vision to transform lives, so that offenders are better able to gain employment, feel a sense of pride and support themselves and their families into the future.”

The head of reducing reoffending at the prison, Gemma Lofthouse, said: “We believe in the transformative power of education and vocational training and working with the community to support employment opportunities.”

She added: “We can offer prisoners ways of training and up-skilling, which support the gaps in the employment market on Island. Working with partners such as Highlands College to deliver these opportunities, we can contribute to building a safer community for all Islanders.”

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