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Departments: Prisons

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make a statement on the role of his Department in the prison sector. (148199)

Employment is known to be a key factor in helping to reduce re-offending. The principal role for my Department is to provide an effective learning and skills service for prisoners, as well as those serving sentences in the community, to improve their skills and employability, and increase their motivation to turn away from crime to become more productive members of society. We will do this by delivering the programme of reform set out in 'Reducing Re-offending Through Skills and Employment: Next Steps' (December 2006).

Seizing new, global opportunities requires a world-class skills base, not only through the expansion of high-end graduate skills but also by raising the skills of the wider adult workforce, including those currently unskilled. The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills will lead the work to ensure that the nation has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy, and that includes developing the skills of those in the prison sector, including the workforce.