700 jobs created as G4S wins contract to run Wellingborough's new prison

Roles will include custodial officers, vocational and academic teachers, and resettlement workers

By Stephanie Weaver
Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 1:54 pm
G4S has won the contract to run Wellingborough's new prison (picture credit: Jason Alden Photography Ltd)
G4S has won the contract to run Wellingborough's new prison (picture credit: Jason Alden Photography Ltd)

Hundreds of new jobs will be created in Northamptonshire after the government awarded a 10-year contract to G4S’s Care and Rehabilitation business to operate Wellingborough's new prison, HM Prison Five Wells.

The new-generation category C facility will be run with a focus on maximising the resettlement of prisoners and rehabilitation, in order to break the cycle of reoffending.

It will reflect community life and have modern workplaces and classrooms where prisoners will gain at least one qualification before they re-enter the community.

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Mobilisation preparations are now underway and the 1,680-person facility is scheduled to commence operations in early 2022.

New roles to be created will include custodial officers, vocational and academic teachers, resettlement workers, facilities staff, caterers and administrators.

There will be a strong focus on career development with opportunities for mentoring, apprenticeships and study towards qualifications.

All staff will receive full training to facilitate the rehabilitative culture and supportive environment the prison seeks to create, through coaching in health and safety, cultural sensitivity, communication, equality and diversity, mental health awareness and sustainability.

For custodial officers, training will include classroom-based, e-learning and on-the-job training.

Every new officer will spend several weeks working with mentors in existing G4S prisons to gain first-hand experience.

G4S currently operates four highly-rated prisons in England and Wales, including HMP Oakwood, a category C prison of a similar size and function in Wolverhampton, found by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) to be an “impressive institution”, praised for its “excellent peer-led initiatives” and “outstanding work to support family contact” in its most recent report.

John Whitwam, managing director, G4S Custodial & Detention Services, said: “This establishment will set a new standard for prisons of the future, being designed and run to maximise rehabilitation and safety.

“Its opening will benefit not only the justice system but also the region, providing hundreds of new jobs for people and opportunities for local businesses and charities.

"I look forward to engaging with local leaders and community groups to kick start our recruitment for what will undoubtedly be one of the most modern and forward-thinking prisons in the country.

“G4S has the experience and proven success running four highly-rated prisons in the UK, and in partnership with the Ministry of Justice we will ensure this establishment becomes a blueprint for innovation, rehabilitation and modernisation in the prison service.”

Gordon Brockington, G4S director who led on the bid, said: “Operating the first new purpose-built resettlement prison in the UK will allow us to build upon the fantastic initiatives we currently deliver across our prisons estate, including at HMP Oakwood which has been at the forefront of prisoner training and skills initiatives.

“Ensuring that everyone has the right life skills and qualifications when they have completed their sentence is fundamental to reducing the risk of reoffending.

“Using technology and tailored interventions we aim to give the people in our care the best possible opportunity to succeed in the future.”

To read more about today's announcement on the contract and new name for the prison, click here.

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