The Irish Prison Service places a strong emphasis on the provision of vocational training activities for prisoners. Training activities are chosen to give as much employment as possible in prison and to give opportunities to acquire skills which help secure employment on release.
A wide range of training workshops operate within the institutions, e.g. printing, computers, Braille, woodwork, metalwork, construction, craft and horticulture. In addition, essential services for the prisons i.e. catering, laundry services and industrial cleaning are provided through work training.
- There are 126 workshops across the prison estate.
- The work and training area has an authorised staffing allocation of approximately 378.
- In excess of 900 prisoners participate in work training activities daily.
- Courses are externally accredited by City & Guilds, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), ECDL and other certifying bodies.
- The Work Training Service in partnership with Prison Education and the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders (IASIO) deliver interpersonal skills courses with FETAC accreditation.
Several prisons support charitable organisations and provide a wide range of material and products. Beneficiaries included Barnardos, Aware, Temple Street Hospital, Barretstown Gang Camp, the Arts for Peace project, CARI, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, St Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired and HOPE, Bikes for Africa Scheme. Cattle donated by farmers have been raised by the prisoners at Shelton Abbey and Loughan House for the charity Bóthar.