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Umbrella Training and The Forward Trust partner on scheme to help ex-offenders into hospitality sector

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Chef preparing meal. Inside of an high end low lit restaurant kitchen

Culinary and hospitality apprenticeship provider Umbrella Training has teamed up with addiction charity The Forward Trust to implement the Prison Apprentice Pathway (PAP) – the hospitality industry’s first formal apprenticeship scheme for ex-offenders.

The pilot initiative aims to help people to find suitable training in the sector upon release from prison. It is funded by charitable trust Porticus UK, and is suitable for those who are within three months of release and eligible for an apprenticeship when they leave.

Three UK prisons will trial the scheme for two years – HMP Isis, London and HMPs Hollesley Bay and Highpoint in Suffolk. It aims to support 100 people and get at least 50% into apprenticeship schemes in the hospitality sector upon their release.

The programme will prepare individuals for what an apprenticeship will involve while they are still in prison – helping them build skills in food production, effective communication and first line supervision (leadership and management.) This is to ensure they are ready to start by the time they are released.

Prison Apprentice Pathway participants will also benefit from a range of support services, according to programme organisers.

These could include: masterclasses with Forward Trust trainers and employers, support to access prison jobs or Release on Temporary License in hospitality, guidance around submitting apprenticeship and job applications, access to meetings and initial interviews with apprenticeship providers and employers, wider pastoral and holistic support, and the chance to join the Forward Connect peer support network.

Umbrella Training will collaborate with Forward Trust’s employment coaches to connect people to the right apprenticeships upon leaving prison.

Adele Oxberry, Chief Executive and Founder of Umbrella Training, said: “With our wealth of experience in the apprenticeship space and Forward’s history of supporting individuals to build positive and productive futures, we look forward to supporting prison leavers to gain apprenticeship qualifications and forging sustainable careers in the industry.”

Executive Director of Employment Services at Forward Trust, Asi Panditharatna, added: “This innovative new programme will enable prison leavers to access exciting apprenticeship roles and careers in the hospitality sector.

“We are delighted to be working with Umbrella who are strongly committed to supporting social mobility and improving the life chances of those from disadvantaged backgrounds”.

Learn about two initiatives in the UK which are finding ways to help individuals enter food careers after release in this Food Matters Live podcast episode:   

The food industry pioneers turning prisoners’ lives around

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