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Innovative UK skills programme gains European support, Rideout

West Midlands, UK Artform: Other, employment programmes, skills   Contact: Saul



An innovative employment programme created by West Midlands company Rideout is due to be officially adopted by the Romanian Prison Service.

After several years of development and trials in 6 European Countries, the Director General of the Romanian Prison Service has enthusiastically endorsed the programme for use in all Romanian prisons. Talent 4 was devised originally for UK prisoners seeking a new vocation away from crime. It takes place over three days using games, puzzles, films and discussion, helping participants understand their acquired skills and talents. After an intensive trial of the programme in the Poarta Alba prison in Constanta, the Romanian Prison Service plans to extend use of the programme across all the country’s 34 prisons. This is a significant achievement for a small operation based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Evaluation of the programme has recently been conducted by Dr Laura Caulfield and Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus of Bath Spa University. The research is to be delivered at the forthcoming Talent4 conference, Where Does Talent Come From? on 23 July 2014 at Hyatt Regency Birmingham. This will reveal a significant increase in the aspirations and confidence of participants across the programme, as well as a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses around work and employment.

The diagnostic approach of the programme proceeds from the premise that often learners are unaware of what they do well. They imagine that skills and talents are all about qualifications or work experience, but Rideout argue that skills and talents are accrued during a process of growing up, whether that individual is in work or out of work, whether that individual has spent time in education or has never been to school.



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