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House of Commons Hansard
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17 March 2015
Volume 594
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16. What assessment he has made of recent trends in levels of prison officer recruitment, retention and training. [908101]

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The National Offender Management Service is on course to recruit its target of 1,700 new prison officers by next month. The training capacity for new officers has been expanded to meet demand. There has been a small increase in the rate of leaving by new officers.

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Will the Minister answer the final part of the question regarding the training of prison officers, which he omitted to do in his response?

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Very willingly. I am always mindful of Mr Speaker’s injunction to keep answers short. We have a six-week residential training course to provide a custodial national vocational qualification. In time, we want to raise that to a 10-week course, but we have not been able to do so because Newbold Revel, which I visited last week, is full to bursting with prison officers. Prison officers are taught to a very high standard. On my visit last week, I spoke to prison officers in training, and I am very pleased with the excellent work that is being done there.

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The right hon. Lady’s moment has arrived. I call Fiona Mactaggart.