0  Milton Keynes College - OLASS

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MK College OLASS ValuesMilton Keynes College has successfully worked with offenders for over 25 years. They have helped learners improve their personal skills and self-belief, whilst developing the skills needed to settle in to prison life or resettle on release.

Milton Keynes College is one of the largest providers of Offender Learning in England. The College is contracted to work across 28 prisons in the East and West Midlands and the South-Central region, 30% of all delivery nationally. The College works with MTC Novo to deliver in-custody Community Rehabilitation Services in the Thames Valley region and also delivers library services in custody.

The College has worked with prisons to create individualised learning programmes that lead to a range of positive outcomes. To support these outcomes, they have developed aspects of their service, such as increased Additional Learning Support for disadvantaged learners, and the development of their Employment Academy model, which was created with employers to meet their needs and lead to real jobs on release.

The College aims to inspire learners to achieve and progress, and to provide a wide range of learner pathways both in the prison and through the gate. Their goal is to be at the heart of the prison service through an individualised approach, where learning is an inspirational and transformational process which ultimately leads to successful resettlement.

Milton Keynes College OLASS Employment AcademiesMilton Keynes College are dedicated to providing learners with not just the very best qualifications, but also the very best practical experiences in preparation for gaining employment upon release. 

With this in mind the College have set up a number of 'Employment Academies', where offenders can learn directly from staff at the leading companies from a range of relevant sectors.

The Greggs Employment Academy enables learners to obtain qualifications covering health and safety, food hygiene, manual handling and first aid, as well a full induction to working with Greggs. Upon successful completion of the course Greggs provide comprehensive training and work experience at one of their stores.  All successful Employment Academy learners are guaranteed an interview upon release with Greggs and one student – Amanda Woods – has already secured employment with Greggs upon release.

Amanda Woods joined the Employment Academy at Drake Hall on the 14th July 2014. After successfully completing the course, and 3 weeks of work experience with Greggs, Amanda was offered a job, which she started on the 4th October 2014.

Amanda said:  'I cannot praise Greggs enough for the opportunity given to me both through the Academy and the work placement.  To be able to leave prison with the skills and confidence needed to find employment is amazing. I have been lucky enough to be offered employment with Greggs that will be transferred to my home town on release, and I cannot be happier about that.  The skills acquired in the academy could be transferred to any industry, manual handling, food safety, customer service, first aid, health and safety, person centred skills and team building. The Greggs ethos is very warm and welcoming.  Team work and customer service is at the heart of their business success and as part of 'the Greggs Family' it isn't hard to embrace and become part of that too. The Academy in partnership with Milton Keynes College was the stepping stone to my successful employment opportunity…thank you.”

Milton Keynes College Learners

Hands Grouped Together - Milton Keynes College OLASS LearnersThree learners, Adam, Goss and Guy, who have expeirenced Milton Keynes College Offender Education schemes share their experiences. They explain how education helped them to change their perspectives, accept responsibilty and look towards the future. 

1. Adam, from HMP Long Lartin
“Given a life sentence early in 2007, I was all but written off. Fast forward eight years and I am sitting in my cell with a first class honours degree proudly displayed on the wall, years of consistent ‘model’ prisoner behaviour behind me and a progressive transfer imminent as I work towards release. During many solitary hours of work – tough to motivate myself for in the early days, I found in myself qualities hitherto unsuspected: discipline, perseverance, determination and the harder I tried, the better my results; my confidence grew and the world began to look different.”

2. Goss, From HMP Isle of Wight
One student, Goss, began his learning journey at level 1. Goss has gained qualifications in Maths, IT and Bricklaying and is shortly due to begin studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Painting and Decorating after he secured funding via a Student Loan. Once completed, Goss will have achieved an industry recognised qualification in painting and decorating, significantly improving his chances of employment post release.

3. Guy, from HMP Long Lartin
“My education background was troubled – I left school with no academic qualifications after being expelled. As a result, studying for a degree was overwhelming in the beginning. The knowledge and understanding of myself, gained through the degree has allowed me to take responsibility for my past. Looking forward, I believe this insight has been a life-changing step in the right direction. On the whole, it has been a positive, uplifting and unforgettable experience. Education has been instrumental in changing my perspectives and the way I see the world and myself within it. The only thing that makes me the same person is I have the continuation of memories from my past. Education and being awarded a degree makes me look to the future. For anyone who is thinking of studying, it is never too late. All you need is the will and determination to succeed.”

Milton Keynes College have created some fantastic video content to provide some additional information to people thinking about working in the sector, including learner stories, employer stories and the importance of Offender Learning.

1. How can Offender Education help?
Two MK learners explain how prison education schemes helped them, as well as opportunities it gave them upon release.
 



2. Why is Offender Education so important?
Julie Mills, Pincipal and Chief Executive of Milton Keynes College, discusses why offender learning is so important to them. 
 



3. Are there any benefits to working with Ex-Offenders?
Two members of the employment team at Milton Keynes College and an employee from RMF Construction Services share the importance of helping people progress by giving them an education and support to get a job. They discuss the benefits of working with ex-offenders.
 



4. Why should you consider teaching in Offender Education?
Two tutors from Milton Keynes College talk about working in offender learning and give advice to people thinking about entering the profession.
 



5. How can employment academies help?
Milton Keynes College staff discuss their experiences of teaching in offender learning, staff training, graduate programmes and the importance of Offender Education.
 

Milton Keynes College
Chaffron Way Campus,
Leadenhall,
Milton Keynes
MK6 5LP

Telephone: 01908 684444
Email: info@mkcollege.ac.uk 

 

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