Youth Custody: Labour Turnover

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 30th June 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the report of a monitoring visit to Oakhill secure training centre, published by Ofsted and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons on 22 June 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure the retention of long-serving and experienced frontline staff in the Youth Custody Service.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the report of a monitoring visit to Oakhill secure training centre, published by Ofsted and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons on 22 June 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure that training and recruitment processes are adequate to ensure that significant numbers of frontline youth custody staff do not leave immediately following their eight week induction programmes.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the report of a monitoring visit to Oakhill secure training centre, published by Ofsted and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons on 22 June 2021, what steps he is taking to reduce the attrition rate of youth custody staff.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the report of a monitoring visit to Oakhill secure training centre, published by Ofsted and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons on 22 June 2021, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of high rates of staff attrition on the (a) safety and (b) rehabilitative efficacy of the youth custody service.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The YCS have planned a workshop with the Secure Training Centres (STCs) to be held in late June 2021 to focus on potential solutions to recruitment and retention issues in the sector.

Additionally, we have made available a youth justice qualification to staff at STCs as well as public sites. The enrolment costs of the qualification are paid for by the YCS and staff can complete the qualification to enhance their skills in their current role or build their future career within youth custody. We believe that this will help support staff and provide them with the skills and confidence needed to deal with children in custody.

The contractor at Oakhill, G4S also implemented a range of changes to their offer to staff in recent years, including reviewing working patterns and terms and conditions. Whilst levels of staffing in relation to private sites sit with contractors, we continue to monitor the position and work closely with G4S to ensure issues around staffing and retention are addressed.

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