Prison Job no Bar to Advancement
From left: Area maintenance manager John Reid, prison governor Mike Inglis, Steven Pratt, Alison Hamon and Elaine Roberts, head of centre, Dundee College.
Release date: 05/09/2012
Electrician Steve Pratt gained a memorable first this week when he was awarded an SVQ 2: facilities services – the first Scottish Prison Service employee to do so.
For the past eight months the 25-year-old, who is employed with the Estates & Technical Services Department at HM Prison Perth, had his work evaluated by assessor Alison Hamon, of Dundee College.
Steve did not have to travel to the college campuses in Dundee however as Alison visited the prison itself to undertake various assessments – and these visits proved a real eye-opener for the Dundee College training and development officer.
“Part of the assessment process was to observe Steve undertake inspecting fire alarms and, while I had a vague notion that this might involve a bit more attention in a unique workplace such as a prison, I really had not imagined just how much checking and double checking was necessary,” said Alison
“Being a prison, of course, security is paramount but so is fire safety with so many people on the premises at any given time, so Steve’s work is vital to the safety inmates, staff, visitors, contractors and the general public.”
Through the assessment process, however, Steve, quite literally showed that he was up to the job becoming the first person in the Scottish Prison Service to gain this work-based qualification.
“Dundee College has been delivering work-based awards for some time to various organisations both in the public and private sectors but it is always pleasing to introduce a new employer to take part in this programme and also see someone blaze a trail for his colleagues,” continued Alison.
Meanwhile, Steve who, since leaving school has proved a real bright spark – gaining various qualifications including NC, HNC and HND in electrical engineering – is delighted to have led the way.
This latest achievement has led to promotion from estates electrician at Perth Prison to electrical manager at HM Prison Cornton Vale.
“I was really pleased to be given the chance to be the first to take part in this form of training,” said Steven.
“It is a great way to gain a qualification, particularly as it does not entail having to take time off work.”