The Government absolutely recognise the importance of preparing prisoners for employment upon their release. That is why we are, for the very first time, changing the law to enable serving prisoners who are close to release to start apprenticeships, helping them to retrain and upskill, and providing them with direct routes into jobs with businesses in their communities.
Retraining prisoners is vital for rehabilitation. Does my hon. Friend expect these welcome plans for prisoner retraining to reduce reoffending, leading to a safer society for all of us? Will these plans be under way as soon as possible so that we can all start to see the benefits immediately?
I can absolutely give my hon. Friend that reassurance. Officials in the Department for Education are working at pace with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice to make sure that we tear down the barriers so that people leaving prison can have had the best chance to rebuild their lives, earn money for themselves, and contribute to their communities. We expect to make progress on that this calendar year.