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Huge jobs boost at prison

Steve Douglas from the Prison Officers Association (POA) outside Hindley Prison
Steve Douglas from the Prison Officers Association (POA) outside Hindley Prison

The workforce at the borough’s prison is set to expand massively after 50 new jobs were advertised.

A website for posts in the civil service recently began hosting the call for dozens of new prison officers to swell staff numbers at HMP Hindley.

The facility has endured a troubled few months as it was due to be part of a massive Government expansion programme which would have involved employees relocating elsewhere while buildings at Hindley were demolished and rebuilt.

The latest jobs hunt indicates that is now firmly on the back burner, with the sector’s union expecting nothing to happen now for at least a couple of years.

The organisation welcomed the investment in workforce numbers at HMP Hindley but warned more improvements to pay and conditions were needed to retain staff.

Steve Douglas, the chair of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) at Hindley, said: “We fully support the recruitment opportunity based on there being no announcement on our closures until 2019.

“We need to recruit as many staff as we can because we are struggling to keep a good regime going.

“We cannot continue with the staffing levels we’ve got and retaining prison officers these days is hard. The Government has announced a 1.7 per cent pay rise but inflation is nearly three per cent and some of the staff haven’t had a pay rise since 2010, which is absolutely ridiculous.

“Across the country we’ve got staff doing 80 or 90 hours a week just to maintain a decent standard of living and people actually going to foodbanks, while the Government sits back and allows it to happen.”

The 50 posts advertised offer potential prison officers a salary of £22,396 a year for working a 37-hour week, with the possibility of opting in to do an extra two hours.

No formal qualifications are needed but applicants will have to pass a series of tests and meet the criteria.

For more information search for Hindley at www.civilservice.jobs.co.uk