Recruitment drive launched searching for new prison staff in Aylesbury

New prison guards are needed in Aylesbury, the government states these jobs have a starting salary of £29,427 and no qualifications are required.
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The recruitment drive in Aylesbury is motivated by the fact town’s prison is set for expansion.

HMP Aylesbury is looking to hire several prison officers, as well as operational support staff, to help young offenders get back on the right track.

Last month, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that HMP Aylesbury was one of 16 jails set for refurbishment and an expansion.

More guards are needed at HMP AylesburyMore guards are needed at HMP Aylesbury
More guards are needed at HMP Aylesbury
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Prison officers at HMP Aylesbury are guarding male inmates between the ages of 18 and 27 who are serving long sentences.

They are required to maintain safety standards on the inside, while also giving prisoners the skills and support they need to live crime-free lives on the outside.

A Government spokesman reports this may involve encouraging participation in education and substance recovery programmes, as well as helping prisoners to maintain vital family ties.

Mark Allen, governor at HMP AylesburyMark Allen, governor at HMP Aylesbury
Mark Allen, governor at HMP Aylesbury

Operational support staff are seen as the face of the prison, they are tasked with greeting families, visitors and lawyers when they come to see prison inhabitants.

They also oversee security checks and searches, and operate the control rooms in the jails.

Mark Allen, governor at HMP Aylesbury said: “Our staff play an essential role in changing the lives of those in custody, as well as keeping the public protected.

“The role can be challenging, but rewarding as you know you are making a difference to these young men’s lives.

"We are committed to providing all our staff with training and ongoing mentoring so they are supported every step of the way when taking on this unique role.

“It’s the team we have here that makes this such an enjoyable place to work – you can form friendships for life. I would be delighted for you to join us on this journey to help make HMP Aylesbury the best it can be.”

The refurbishment planned at the Aylesbury jail will help create 194 prison spots at the site.

It is part of a wider £3.8 billion government scheme involving 16 prisons, aiming to create 20,000 spaces for criminals across the UK.

The redesigns will make sure facilities are good enough to aid rehabilitation in these jails, the government states.

Supervising officer Callister Radcliffe has been a prison officer at HMP Aylesbury for almost three years. She said: “I joined the prison service because I have always been interested in a career in the criminal justice sector.

"The role can be challenging, there’s nothing quite like your first time on the wings, but you soon get used to it. In particular, I love that you can see the real difference you are making to prisoners lives.

“It’s the team at HMP Aylesbury that make it such a great place to work. There are also lots of opportunities for progression or to move into different roles in the prison, which keeps it varied. The pension and benefits are also great. If you think it might be the role for you, definitely find out more.”

HMPPS’ (Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service) job description for the guard role states that personal qualities are more important than academic qualifications in the job.

HMPPS is looking for people who can demonstrate good communication and influencing skills, commitment to quality, effective decision-making, care and understanding.

Training is available throughout a prison officer’s career. Officers can choose to specialise in working with vulnerable prisoners, or become a dog handler or train as a physical education instructor.

The prison officer role at HMP Aylesbury offers a starting salary of £29,427 (39 hours a week) and a Civil Service pension.

More operational support grade staff are also needed at the Aylesbury jail.

Once again personal qualities are ranked higher than academic achievements in the recruitment process for the role.

And no qualifications are required to apply for a place on the team.

In the role there is an opportunity to progress and become a fully-fledged prison officer.

Once in the job, it is possible to transition into back-office support roles or apply to be a prison officer, HMPPS says.

The starting salary for this role is £21,790, as with the prison guard position a Civil Service pension is one of the listed benefits.

More information on the available roles can be found on the government’s website here.

Last week, an application to build an extensive Aylesbury Vale mega prison adjacent to two other jails in the region was thrown out by Bucks Council.

The Ministry of Justice lodged a planning application to build a prison which would cost in the region of £300 million at Grendon Underwood.

Protesters objected in part due to the fact that two other facilities HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill are nearby.

Councillor Alan Turner, who chaired the meeting in which the council unanimously voted down the application, said: “After careful consideration the Committee felt that the combined effects on the local area in terms of sustainability, heritage and the environment would have an overriding negative impact.

"There was also a feeling that not enough consideration has been given to alternative sites which could be more suitable for such a facility.

Whilst the Committee acknowledges the efforts made by the applicant for offsetting some of the concerns raised during the application process, the overarching sentiment is that the scale of this proposed development would irreparably alter the nature of this rural and historic landscape.

“Taking all factors into account and giving fair consideration to all viewpoints, our decision goes in favour of the officer recommendation to refuse this planning application.”