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Awards for Team Clean Challenge participants

Published 7th June, 2010 by Neil Nixon

Awards for Team Clean Challenge participants

An awards ceremony has taken place to mark the achievements of prisoners who took part in a national cleaning skills competition, the Team Clean Challenge.
The event, now in its third year, is run by Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for cleaning. It aims to showcase the high quality training that takes place within prisons as part of preparing offenders with work skills to help their rehabilitation on release.

Richard Beamish, chief executive of Asset Skills, said: “The Team Clean Challenge is the only official skills competition taking place inside prisons. Despite the recession, there is still a shortage of cleaners and more employers are now recognising the benefits of hiring a well-trained ex-offender, who will have been thoroughly vetted and sees the job as a chance to start a new life. There are clear career paths in cleaning, and cleaning can offer a rewarding and worthwhile job.”

Through the Team Clean Challenge a number of former prisoners have been able to find work as cleaners. Getting a job has been shown to be a key factor in helping ex offenders move on from a life of crime and in cutting the re-offending rate that costs the UK billions each year.

The competition also operates an ‘open strand’ in which cleaning employers across the UK enter teams of staff. The competition seeks to raise the profile of cleaning and instil pride in those who do such an essential job.

The 2010 prisons challenge ran in several categories. Winners included: HMP Lindholme for best prison; Rochester for best young offenders institute; Amy Boorman from HMP Holloway for best manager; Adam Marsh from Wormwood Scrubs for best supervisor; and Samantha Bradley from HMP Bronzefield for best operative.

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