Serco Employment, Skills & Training Services

A Spotlight on HMP Ashfield Education and Skills

HMP Ashfeld is a category C adult male establishment at Pucklechurch in South Gloucestershire that holds up to 400 convicted prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences. 100% of education and training is delivered by the Serco in-house education team – Ashfield College.

Due to the nature of the facility at HMP Ashfeld education and training focuses on vocational skills and self-employability as regular employment is a potential difficulty for many. The learner journey aims to deliver a good foundation in key skills such as Maths and English, then encourages learners to select a vocational area in which they have an interest supported by business skills to facilitate self-employment in their chosen field.

HMP Ashfield is a comparatively small site and so the education team works smartly to deliver vocational environments that seek to emulate real life work settings. For example those undertaking training in Carpentry will have:

  • Level 2 City and Guilds qualification
  • Specific real life orders for pieces of work (delivered to charities or local events outside of the prison)
  • Timescales and budgets to work to
  • Customer interaction (with the staff member making the order)
  • Quality control of the work they produce to ensure that it meets with the specification 

HMP Ashfield also offers training in an industrial bakery environment, electrics courses in which leaners become PAT test certified and use this to carry out PAT testing as required by the prison as well as digital arts, design and print, plumbing, painting & decorating, horticulture, industrial cleaning and light industries.

The skills that learners develop during their time at Ashfield and the national qualifications they gain give them a much better chance of gaining meaningful employment on release – a major contributor to successful resettlement.