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Acorn Training’s IAG services are extended to three more UK prisons in further contract success with HMPPS


·        Contracts awarded to deliver IAG services in HMP Grendon, HMP Springhill and HMP Stafford
·        Acorn Training now approved for IAG delivery in 5 UK Prison establishments
·        IAG services include functional skills training, employability support and access to strong network of ex-offender friendly employers

(Friday 26th February 2021) Acorn Training has been awarded two new contacts with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) to provide Information and Guidance (IAG) services within three separate prison establishments from February 2021. Acorn Training currently provides a range of services in partnership with HMPPS as a direct training provider within HMP Garth and a subcontractor at HMP North Sea Camp.

The newly-awarded contracts are for jointly-managed HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill, sharing a number of common services and resources, the prisons function as separate establishments and have different operating environments and offenders. HMP Grendon is a category B male prison and was opened in 1962 to provide treatment for prisoners with anti-social personality disorders, up to 240 residents can be held within the secure conditions. Prisoners who apply to come to HMP Grendon have sentences that will allow a stay of at least 24 months and they must demonstrate a genuine commitment to changing their behaviour. HMP Springhill’s role is separate to that of HMP Grendon, opened in 1953 it was the first dedicated establishment operating under open conditions which have now come to be recognised as Category D status. The prison can accommodate up to 334 prisoners.

The other contract supports IAG delivery at HMP Stafford. Located near Stafford town centre, HMP Stafford is the second oldest prison in the country and includes many Grade II listed buildings. It is a category C training prison for men convicted of sexual offences with a certified operational capacity of 751 and a normal capacity of 741. More than 90% of its residents are serving sentences of four years or more and almost half of the population are aged over 50. Workshop space is provided for employment and an on-site programmes team provide a range of interventions for residents to help address their rehabilitation needs and to reduce their risk of reoffending.

All new prisons appointed to receive Acorn Training’s IAG service will be supported with the quality-led approach of the company and be able to utilise their experience in the field of justice services. Acorn are education providers in the community both inside and outside the gate with a focus on functional skills including Maths, English and ICT. It will be a priority to ensure all prisoners are referred for these learning opportunities to form a basis for their development in prison.

Appointment-led interviews will be conducted with all offenders to provide support throughout their sentences to identify their goals and to encourage skills building, CV enhancing and work experience opportunities. The IAG services will be tailored to the individuals’ short-term and long-term career goals.

Hayley Dall-Smith, Head of Justice Services comments on the importance of our service within the HMPPS community “We are committed to improving the lives of individuals that have offended by supporting their rehabilitation through our IAG services. We have a comprehensive understanding of offending behaviour and can therefore tailor our learning to the individual circumstances. One of our main priorities upon release is to ensure ex-offenders are able to secure sustainable employment, something which we are well-placed to deliver with our strong network of ex-offender friendly employers”.

IAG services will intensify 12 weeks prior to the offender’s release, once again this support will be tailored to each prisoner with focus on job applications to gain employment pre-release.  Acorn’s support will include realistic job search advice giving key information such as the qualifications required, a typical working day, starting pay and future career prospects.

Acorn Training continues their commitment to the ex-offenders they work with outside of the prison establishments to ensure easy transitions back into the community and further support to enable individuals to contribute positively to society by gaining lasting life and employability skills. 

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Notes to editors

Acorn Training are a national training provider delivering apprenticeships, online courses, employability programmes, justice services, skills & career development. To learn more about the organisation and its offerings, please visit: https://www.acorntraining.co.uk/ or follow on social media: Instagram: @Acorn_training_ltd Twitter: @AcornTrainingUK LinkedIn: Acorn Training Ltd Facebook: Acorn Training UK  TikTok:  @AcornTraining

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