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Work in prison education, skills and work

Overview of prison education, skills and work roles

Someone like you

Prisons are unique work environments. No two days are the same and you have to be resilient, confident and a great communicator to support prisoners.

Working in a prison education, skills and work (ESW) role, you will play a key part in helping prisoners access vital interventions that can reduce their risk of reoffending.

Having qualifications and practical work-related skills can help prisoners find jobs when they return to their communities. Your work will support them to do this and help them focus on making positive changes in their lives when they leave prison.

There are a range of different education, work and skills roles you can do in a prison. Each role requires specific skills, experience or qualifications. See the skills and qualifications section for details.

Prison education, skills and work – extraordinary jobs. Done by someone like you.

  • A range of roles supporting prisoners to gain new skills, qualifications and work to reduce their chances of reoffending
  • You will need specific skills, experience or qualifications to apply
  • Choose from a hands-on role working directly with prisoners, or a support or senior management role
  • Starting salary depends on the job band and specific role requirements
  • Work-life balance working arrangements may be available

Roles, pay and benefits

The starting salaries below are based on working a 37 hour week.


Work in onsite workshops supervising prisoners to complete constructive activities such as recycling and waste management, industrial cleaning and cycle repair or more specialist activities such as horticulture, woodwork, printing, textiles manufacturing, plastic injection moulding and engineering. 

RoleInner LondonOuter LondonAll other prisons
Production instructor (band 3)£30,137£28,636£25,572
Specialist production instructor (band 4)£35,087£33,506£30,471
Table summarising the starting salaries of instructors across England and Wales

Education, skills and work strategy and implementation roles

The focus of these roles is on ensuring prisoners have access to a range of opportunities to engage in education and work opportunities to help them learn new skills to help them find work when they leave prison. 

RoleInner LondonOuter LondonAll other prisons
ID and banking administrator (Band 3)£30,137£28,636£25,752
Learning and skills manager (Band 6)£36,953£35,667£33,201
Neurodiversity support manager (Band 6) £36,953£35,667£33,201 
Head of education, skills and work (Band 7) £52,523 £50,942 £47,907 
Prison employment lead (Band 6) £36,953£35,667£33,201 
Industries manager (Band 6) £36,95 35,66733,201
Table summarising the starting salaries of strategy and implementation role across England and Wales

Find out more about the benefits of working for HM Prison and Probation Service