Your Consultation Group will now extend access to courses to prisoners who have not been selected for YCG’s Pathways Programme. This is due to unprecedented demand from prisoners and the receipt of support from Key Fund. This means that fully funded courses will now be available to prisoners and prison leavers to help them with getting into work via YCG’s Careers Service without first having to become a YCG Citizen.

Under our Citizens and Pathways Programme, prisoners’ can access ‘Chrysalis by YCG’, mentoring support, vocational, apprenticeships, and degree level courses which have been specified by our sponsoring employer. YCG Citizens receive the guarantee of a job on release with our sponsoring employer conditional only on successfully completing these programmes.

Raff Esposito, Director for Social Impact at Your Consultation Group commented: “I am delighted that Key Fund has given us the opportunity to meet the unprecedented demand we have had from prisoners and employers following the launch of our Careers Service.

“We have moved rapidly beyond the construction sector and now multiple industry sectors with jobs ranging from NMW to managerial and professional roles for those with higher end qualifications.

“We are currently rolling out our Pathways Programme across the estate, whereas the Careers Service has already been nationally adopted, so it made sense to provide access to fully funded courses via our Digital Prisons Hub or in booklet or correspondence formats for those using our Careers Service.

“There remain practical restrictions on the availability of certain courses due to legal eligibility restrictions. Apprenticeships are currently only available to prisoners in open conditions, and this is something we will be discussing with policymakers as we would like to extend the opportunity to the many prisoners who are in closed conditions where ROTL is available.

“Nevertheless, we are pleased that we can offer NVQs and higher-level education courses to those in closed conditions, subject only to our ability to meet the demand for funding. We will always give priority to YCG Citizens.”

Your Consultation Group also funds courses and course continuation beyond the gate, so prisoners can start courses in the knowledge that course provision has the flexibility to span inside to outside the gate.

Rachel Veitch-Straw of Key Fund commented: “We are proud to support Your Consultation Group in their ambition to support prisoners into work. This is a tremendously socially impactful project, and we are delighted as a social investor to have been involved in providing funding for this worthwhile purpose”.

Mike Herrity, MD of YCG Academy commented: “This is really positive news for prisoners and all those involved in the prison education space as we will now be able to fund our own and third-party courses. Initially, we will restrict applications to those leaving prison in 2023 and who have a minimum of level 1 English and Maths.

“I anticipate Key Fund being the first in a series of announcements on funding for courses as our Academy provision expands in the coming months. Funding will span both our Pathways Programme and our Careers Service.

“Those completing the entire Pathways Programme in participating prisons get a guaranteed offer of employment.