Select Committee on Home Affairs First Report



Production workshops constitute the majority of operational workshops across the prison estate. A summary of the range and number of production workshops offering work experience to prisoners is set out below.


15 workshops, offering 885 work experience places and formal training including basic/key skills and NVQs. Products produced in the main for the internal market ranging from simple repair work and cell doors to sophisticated bespoke items such as fire escapes and spiral staircases.


Work provided for 763 prisoners in 14 workshops including the manufacture of "safer cell" furniture. NVQs available at some production units.


HM Prison Service's largest production partnership is with a US office furniture company, Leggatt and Platt, who have extensive experience of working with correctional facilities in the USA. High quality office furniture is assembled in a number of establishments, currently produced for the internal market but with the aim of eventually supplying to the external market.


Work provided for 165 prisoners in 7 workshops.


4 workshops offering 203 work places.


9 workshops: 7 conventional and digital printing workshops and 2 Desk Top Publishing units. 179 prisoners currently employed. Products produced mainly for the internal market with a small amount of external printing produced mainly for charities and hospital trusts.

Prison Service currently in discussion with the British Printing Industries Federation to introduce NVQ training across printing workshops.

Textiles and Clothing

74 workshops in 59 establishments, offering 2918 work places. Also 3 Sewing Machine Repair workshops, employing 65 prisoners.

The Clothing and Textiles workshops constitute 27% of all prison workshops and produce almost exclusively for the Internal Prison Market, providing over £12m worth of goods to establishments. It provides employment for 2,673 prisoners at an average of 27.5 hours per week. The Internal Review Report quoted an annual loss for the industry of £4.8m.


3 workshops employing 33 prisoners.


Approx. 4,000 prisoners involved in food service preparation and packaging, producing 82 million meals per annum. 78 prisons are currently registered for the delivery of a range of food preparations qualifications, allied to basic and key skills.


42 industrial laundries servicing all prison establishments, offering 1049 work experience places. Laundry processed in the main for the internal market at an annual commercial value of approximately £17m. A number of establishments also operate external contracts to fill free capacity.

Formal training available in the form of the Guild of Launderers and Cleaners accredited course in Laundering. One national laundry company has guaranteed to provide job interviews for successful students from this course. A similar accredited course is now available for Laundry Instructors.

An investment programme, costing £2.3m, is underway to replace some of the inefficient and worn out laundry machinery that has hindered the provision of a modern and reliable service. All laundry machinery purchased is similar to that which prisoners would operate in commercial laundries on release.

338   Information provided by HM Prison Service (March 2004) Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2005
Prepared 7 January 2005