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Northumbria Probation Area

Image: Offender learning literacy and numeracy skillsspacerNational Probation Service logo


Education, training and employment Image: probation officer and offender working together

Having poor numeracy and literacy skills makes life more difficult in many ways. Amongst offenders, the average reading age is 10.

Helping offenders gain the skills which lead to employment is a key factor in reducing reoffending. It is identified as one of the seven pathways out of offending.

All offenders complete basic skills screening when they first come into contact with us. If the results show they would benefit from support to improve their skills, this is arranged as part of their community order. Sometimes it is part of the offender’s compulsory requirements, other times it might be voluntary.

We work in partnership with the Learning Skills Council, OLASS (Offender Learning and Skills Service), and local providers to support offenders in developing their education, training and employment prospect. Offenders are provided with access to:

Staff work with offenders to produce their own learning action plan. This sets clear objectives and a realistic timescale which the offender feels they can achieve. It includes ways in which they can develop their skills and any training they might need. It also looks at opportunities for work and job searching.

This work is supported by the European Social Fund and Nextsteps.

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