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Young people given education and training to reduce reoffending

A group of young people who have committed offences are to be given education and training to help reduce reoffending in Dorset.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Dorset is funding the training, which will  see a group of 12 young people trained in English and maths or receiving a practical construction qualification.

The young people involved have been working with the Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service (DCYJS) – a partnership made up of Dorset and BCP Councils, Dorset Police, National Probation Service Dorset and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group.  

The project is aimed at helping young people who are on the edge of the criminal justice system to be diverted away from getting further involved in criminal activity through training, education and ultimately by being helped into work.

The OPCC has been working throughout the pandemic to provide highly focused training which will make a genuine impact on the lives of those young people involved.

Although the work has been delayed by COVID-19, the project is now getting underway and the training is to begin within the next few weeks.

Dorset Trade Skills will provide online English and maths training to some of the young people, in a part time package that has been arranged to keep them engaged without being overwhelmed by a return to full time education which may result in some of them dropping out of the course.

Other members of the group will receive training to receive the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) labourer card, a practical course which will provide them with a route to employment.

Kirsty Reed from DCYJS said: “Getting young people engaged in mentoring activities and education or training opportunities to build skills and boost motivation and self-esteem is key to helping young people make positive steps and choices moving forward.

They help to re-engage, add focus, show what true potential a person has and what they can achieve and raise career aspirations. Being engaged in positive learning activities helps to divert young people from criminal activity and reduce re-offending which is one of the main aims of the Youth Justice Service.

“The great working relationship that has been made with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner allows for regular discussions. This is really helpful to make sure that projects are suitable and accessible across the whole of Dorset and involve areas of interest that are relevant and aimed at the right level to meet the needs of the young people we work with. We are really keen to keep and develop these links and projects now and in the future.”

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