Prison and Probation Service: Recruitment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress he has made on recruiting probation officers in (a) England and (b) North West; and how many vacancies there are in each of those areas.

Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps are being taken to reduce the number of agency staff employed by the Probation Service.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

There were 3,352 FTE band 4 probation officers in post as at 31 December 2018. This figure shows a broadly stable trend with a small increase of 9 (0.3%) since 30 September 2018 and a small decrease of 17 (0.5%) compared to 31 December 2017. In the last year, 707 Probation Service Officers (PSO) were appointed, some of whom will be training to become qualified Probation Officers (PO).

As at December 2018, there were 544 FTE probation Officers in post in the North West Probation Service Division.

We are recruiting more staff into the National Probation Service to reduce the reliance on agency staff. Changes to the recruitment process and eligibility criteria for probation officers have been made resulting in increases in both the volume and diversity of probation officer applicants. A national campaign to recruit probation officers is currently underway and successful candidates will start in July 2019.

HMPPS does not publish data on numbers of vacancies.

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