Magilligan prisoners enhance jobs prospects on release through vocational welding courses

Date published: 18 October 2018

Magilligan Prison is helping to address a shortage in the number of qualified and skilled metal workers in Northern Ireland.

With the prospect of a job when they complete their sentence, prisoners at the Limavady facility are being taught Fabrication and Welding NVQ courses by North West Regional College.

Already five prisoners have been placed in jobs on release in a pilot programme which offers prisoners training and qualification in Metal and Tungsten Inert Gas (MIG and TIG) welding, as well as Manual Metal Arc (MMA) and Oxyacetylene (OXY) welding.

Magilligan Prison Governor Richard Taylor said: “The welding courses at Magilligan have been very successful. Since January we’ve had more than 74 accreditations for prisoners in both Level 1 and 2 of the vocational training which is being provided. And five prisoners, on their release, have secured jobs as a result of the skills and qualifications attained.

“The metalwork courses, as well as 45 other fully accredited programmes of study at Magilligan, provide prisoners with a daily routine, constructive activity but also importantly an opportunity to take part in meaningful work which may eventually lead to a job once they leave the prison.”

Governor Taylor added: “The Northern Ireland Prison Service will continue to challenge people in our care and support them to change. Encouraging them through vocational skills will help them reintegrate when they are released, reducing the risk of re-offending and help build a safer community.”

Dr Damian O’Kane, North West Regional College Head of Prison Education, said: “In collaboration with the Prison Service we have tailored our curriculum to respond to many of the key skills shortage areas within the Northern Ireland construction industry.  Students are encouraged and assisted to develop their knowledge and industrial skills and to obtain nationally recognised qualifications. As a result their employment opportunities and prospects are greatly enhanced.”

You can find out more about the Welding courses at Magilligan Prison by watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RswSA04z_Q

Notes to editors: 

  1. Magilligan Prison is a medium to low security prison which holds male prisoners with six years or less to serve and who meet the relevant security classification.
  2. At 12 October 2018 there were 430 prisoners at Magilligan Prison.
  3. North West Regional College provides an outsourced service to deliver Learning, Skills and Employability solutions in Magilligan Prison on behalf of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.
  4. Photo caption: Magilligan Prison is helping to address a shortage in the number of qualified and skilled metal workers in Northern Ireland. Prisoners are being taught Fabrication and Welding NVQ courses by North West Regional College. Pictured are Richard Taylor, Governor of Magilligan Prison and Andy McHugh, North West Regional College tutor, along with one of the prisoners undertaking a welding course.
  5. For all media enquiries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

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