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Prison Employment Lead

Category : Government
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Location : Winchester
Salary : £ 31,924 - £ 36,715
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2022-05-12
Date Posted : 2022-05-01
Reference : 57721  

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.


The job holder has responsibility for improving the employability of prisoners and supporting prison leavers into employment on release.

Overview of the job

In order to prepare prison leavers for work on release, HMPPS have invested significantly in a variety of activities that give prisoners the opportunity to develop work skills and gain experience.

Within the prison estate employment is managed as part of the reduction of re-offending agenda, which alongside education and a range of other support agencies, specifically provides prisoners with the necessary skills and knowledge to live a law-abiding life after leaving prison.

A key aspect of this service is to support prison leavers into meaningful, sustained employment on release by working with employers in the community.

The New Futures Network (NFN) is a national network of employment brokers and industry leads, who work to establish relationships with a range of sector-based employers. The specific aim is to increase the number of prison leavers entering into employment on release. In order for these employers to benefit from the potential labour pool that exists within UK Prisons, it is essential that work ready candidates are identified pre-release.

The primary function of the Prison Employment Lead (PEL) is to lead on the construction of an end to end Prison Employment pathway, which starts to promote the very real prospect of employment on release to prisoners from the beginning of their journey through the establishment.

The Prison Employment Lead will principally be responsible for:

  • Identifying work ready candidates.
  • Prioritising actions and services needed to ensure prisoners achieve work readiness.
  • Matching work ready candidates to suitable vacancies supplied by the New Futures Network and other employment stakeholders within the prison estate.

The role will be establishment based with the expectation that post holders will travel as and when required. This is a non-operational post. The post holder will have line management responsibilities for at least one Band 3 administration staff member, with the potential for additional as and when the work develops.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

The role of the PEL is to improve employment outcomes for prison leavers. In order to achieve this, they will:

  • Engage with stakeholders within the prison to establish a system that identifies work ready prisoners and highlights actions needed to support prisoners to achieve work readiness.
  • Work with prison staff and stakeholders to match work ready candidates to job opportunities brokered on behalf of the prison by the New Futures Network and other employment agencies.
  • Support contracted IAG and Education providers to ensure the prison induction process properly:
  • promotes employment, education, and skills training opportunities to prisoners upon arrival at the prison
  • effectively captures information relating to prisoner education, work experience and skills
  • encourages prisoners to develop personal and social skills that improve employability
  • Manage an Employment Hub which centralises employment support services within the prison and promotes live vacancies to prison leavers within the resettlement period.
  • Champion innovations in employment and industry focused recruitment practices, such as hospitality/construction drives etc.
  • Work in partnership with the Prison’s Strategic Employment Advisory Boards to improve systems that support prisoners to develop employability, ensuring they meet commercial needs/standards of employers.
  • Organise regular opportunities for NFN and other stakeholders to bring employers into the prison and facilitate prisoner forums.
  • Work in partnership with Community Offender Management (COM) to ensure prison leaver information is supplied to relevant agencies post release in order to reduce duplication.
  • Liaise with COM to ensure prison leavers who require further support on release are signposted to Education, Training and Employment CRS who can continue to support them on their journey towards meaningful, sustained employment.

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.


  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Changing and Improving


  • Experience of working with senior officials.
  • Experience of working across stakeholder groups and Other Government Departments and excellent influencing skills, showing the ability to deal effectively with conflict and deliver objectives.
  • Has experience of setting goals and achieving targets.
  • Has commercial experience and an understanding of contract management.
  • Has previous experience/understanding of recruitment processes/legislation (desirable).


  • Ability to engage at Local and Regional Management level.
  • Ability to work in partnership with NFN Managers, communicating strategy and priorities to providers and stakeholders.
  • Resilience under pressure, ability to articulate and defend decisions on behalf of HMPPS.
  • Strong written and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Strong team building and working skills.

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