Justice secretary requested to intrude

The University and College Union has written to the justice secretary urging him to intervene over a training provider’s plans to reduce greater than 100 jobs.

The union stated in a letter addressed to David Gauke that Novus, a prison education company part of the LTE Group, which additionally runs The Manchester College, has placed 176 staff liable to redundancy across 27 prisons where it operates.

According to the UCU, Novus’ contract fee to deliver this carrier has declined by 26 consistent with cent in the north east of England following the creation of the ‘Prison Education Framework’ at the beginning of April.

The union stated the issuer proposes to maintain “most effective sixty-two full-time equivalent roles, meaning over one hundred posts are set to be most typically”.

“These job losses could be hugely destructive at a time whilst the arena is already struggling to recruit and retain a team of workers,” stated Paul Cottrell, UCU performing general secretary.

“You can not make cuts of this scale and not effect on the schooling and opportunities to be had to offenders.

“This is an especially worrying move for the reason that reviews of assault and self-harm in prisons are at report levels.”

Cottrel urged Gauke to “in my view intrudes”, by using encouraging Novus to reconsider these cuts and rule out compulsory task losses.

It is also asking the justice secretary to “well take a look at” the impact of settlement modifications on prison education normal, because the lack of over 100 experienced jail educators could have a “severe effect on getting to know opportunities for offenders at a time when prisons are reporting report stages of attacks and self-damage”.

The union stated studies by means of the Commons education choose committee shows prisoners who don’t take part in jail training are 3 times much more likely to be reconvicted – even though this document changed into produced in 2005.

The 27 prisons expected to be affected are positioned throughout Cumbria and Lancashire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, and Cheshire.

Novus offers education to 60,000 offenders throughout 50 web sites. It presently has over 2,000 employees, in line with its website.

Peter Cox, handling director for Novus, stated: “Novus had been delivering education in prisons for over 25 years. We acknowledge that this modification will affect the wide variety of staff wanted, all of whom had been offered voluntary redundancy and help.

“Novus will maintain to rent a fairly professional and devoted workforce of over 2,000 colleagues, handing over revolutionary high satisfactory education, training and employment possibilities to adults and younger humans in UK prisons.”

Earlier this 12 months, Gauke outlined plans to overhaul the prison training machine with the aid of giving prison governors full duty for handling provision.

The Ministry of Justice accomplished a procurement process for the new education vendors, known as the ‘Prison Education Framework’, and four have been selected: Milton Keynes College, Novus, People Plus and Weston College.