Novus Cambria, a bidder involving a local North Wales college, will be providing education and skills provision for Wrexham’s new prison.
Following a competition process, the tender for HMP Berwyn has been awarded to Novus Cambria, a joint venture between not-for-profit social enterprise Novus, the UK’s largest provider of education, training and employability programmes to offenders, and Coleg Cambria; one of the UK’s biggest colleges, with more than 7,000 full-time students and 20,000 part-time learners with international links.
Novus is part of LTE group, the first integrated education and skills group of its kind, delivering its provision to more than 100,000 learners.
As well as traditional education or vocational skills training, Novus Cambria will make sure there are opportunities to train in horticulture, libraries, the recycling unit, the wellbeing centre, the industrial workshops, kitchen and gyms.
Russ Trent, Governor of Berwyn, said: “Our aim at Berwyn is to create a rehabilitative culture so we can return the men to their communities as more productive members of their families and society.
“At the heart a rehabilitative culture is a need to provide education and skills to give the best chance of employment on release.
“Novus Cambria had clearly taken on board our vision for the prison and incorporated it into their model and I am delighted that we will be working with them.
“Novus has a strong record working in prisons and Coleg Cambria is an excellent local education provider with their main campus in Wrexham, so I think this partnership will work extremely well.”
Strong points in the bid included:
– The provision of Welsh language, including second language Welsh classes for people who do not currently speak the language,
– The commitment to work with partners to make sure learning is available in all parts of the prison
– The assessment of the workforce need in the local area, to make sure the men are given the best skills to get employment on release.
John Thornhill, Director at Novus Cambria and CEO of LTE group, said: “Novus Cambria is delighted, proud and excited to have been awarded the Learning and Skills contract for the provision at HMP Berwyn. This presents us with the opportunity to support men at HMP Berwyn by providing them with the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need to find work upon release and lead crime-free lives.
“Rehabilitation and employability skills are absolutely key to our delivery in HMP Berwyn. We are excited about working closely with local and national employers and key stakeholders across North Wales, and our upcoming stakeholder events will be the ideal chance to discuss employment needs.
“We are also really looking forward to working with NOMS Wales and the HMP Berwyn team.
David Jones OBE, Director at Novus Cambria and CEO at Coleg Cambria said: “We are thrilled that Novus Cambria has been awarded the Learning and Skills contract for HMP Berwyn.
“Coleg Cambria is deeply rooted in North East Wales and we are delighted that this brand new training partnership formed between the college and Novus brings together a high level of educational and skills excellence that will further enhance opportunities in education, training and employment in the Wrexham area.
“Our vision is that the prison will be a learning establishment with a clear, recognisable culture where innovative learning opportunities are embedded across the prison environment and the men encouraged and assisted to prepare for a fresh start in life.”
The contract is worth £18.7m and will last for five years.
Work on the £250m HMP Berwyn prison is due to be completed by early 2017.