Skills4Life – Spring Update 2022


The Skills4Life project is at an important stage, with work progressing well across all of our European settings.

Project partners have been hard at work gathering the lived experiences of young people in secure settings throughout the UK, France, Greece and Italy.

The partners met in beautiful Saumur, France this April to share our findings and plan for this next crucial phase. During this transnational meeting, we were able to make strong progress towards unifying our vision of a skills-based curriculum to support the transition of young people from secure settings back into society.

We are pleased to announce that the data collection phase of the project is approaching completion and in the coming month we hope to move on to creating our curriculum content. As our interviews progressed, we began looking at the stories we have gathered from the young people, (some still inside the prison and others after release) and began looking at the common barriers they were experiencing across our settings. These barriers have often involved decision making, access to information and a need to increase vital knowledge and skills.

These young people have given us valuable insights into their daily lives, and we have used these perspectives to inform the content of the teaching modules. Here are a few short examples of the kinds of things the young people are telling us:

I'm learning well because I want to get out. I don't want to come back here anymore.

“I would prefer to stop a little bit and think about everything I should do. To have clear ideas and not be influenced by others. I should make my decisions myself”

“Relationships inside are frozen, formal, it is very difficult to make friends, you do not exist for me, I do not exist for you, it's kind of like that”

“In here you’ve got money and it will last, you get everything, you get two meals a day every day and stuff on the side as well as the meals. When we get out most of these lads here won't have that. It’s hard to stay out of trouble because when you get out you’ve got to look for a job and that stuff takes time. It’s just easier to just do it again and go straight back, it’s easy money.

Using quotes like these we have put self-development, relationships, life skills and a successful transition back into society at the heart of what we plan to teach. We believe these to be the most important skills they will need to live successful lives after imprisonment.
This summer we will continue to build our modules, with each partner working on the content and resources needed for curriculum delivery with a view to begin training our expert Skills4Life trainers in the autumn of 2022.
We will keep you updated on this process in the coming months as we move towards these goals.
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