SkillHUBS: Transnational prison up-skilling guidance and training model
The project aims to develop a transnational counselling and training model for inmates and to elaborate recommendations for the introduction of the model into national prison education systems across Europe.
The introduction of the “skillHUBS” model into EU prison education systems will represent a significant improvement of EU prison education as it will provide more efficient tools for skills assessment among inmates, address actual offenders’ educational needs and provide tailor-made learning opportunities for each individual inmate.
Levels of education tend to be low amongst the prison population, with many inmates lacking basic skills such as literacy and numeracy. Some countries report as high as 50% of prisoners having literacy levels of level 1 in the National Qualifications Framework – or below.
The situation is particularly worrying for inmates who are adults in their active age. Unemployed ex-prison inmates tend to turn to crime more than those who are in employment. At the same time, many inmates have negative previous experiences of education and are likely to have dropped out of school early.
Therefore, if the provision of learning opportunities in prison is a necessity, designing it in an empowering and tailored-made way is key to enable inmates to make one step up in their life. Such an approach includes the combination of basic skills with transversal skills such as critical and innovative thinking, entrepreneurial mind-set and creativity. The SkillHubs project aims to develop a transnational counselling and training model that supports prison counsellors and mentors in doing so, in particular when it comes to skills assessment, validation of prior learning and the use innovative tools and methods in prison education.
After developing the model, the project partners will test the methods in three countries and, based on the experiences, elaborate recommendations for their national prison education systems across Europe.
The SkillHUBS project was kicked off in Ljubljana, Slovenia on the 16th and 17th of January 2018.
Text: Francesca Operti
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