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02 Dec 2021

Criminals could become chefs at Longford Prison Service HQ

Criminals could become chefs at Longford Prison Service HQ

Criminals could be putting their culinary skills to the test by forming part of a new look catering team at the Irish Prison Service (IPS) Headquarters in Longford town.

The organisation is seeking an independent social enterprise to run the catering services and that will also train and/or employ people with criminal convictions.

The IPS is conducting a market sounding exercise to ascertain the level of interest and engagement from suitable operators.
Prison Service officials say the scheme is in keeping with the body’s overall mission statement which aims to offer rehabilitation for prisoners and the Department of Justice’s Working to Change social enterprise and employment strategy.

It’s envisaged an independent operator will head up the Prison Service’s canteen at its main offices on the outskirts of Longford town and hire individuals with previous convictions who have found it difficult to secure employment because of their criminal past.

In a bid to entice prospective operators, prison service have decided to provide the canteen and fully fitted commercial kitchen to the successful operator rent free.

The operator, subject to consultation with Irish Prison Services bosses, will also be permitted to use the kitchen to cater for external events in order to compensate for the facility’s limited footfall.

In a statement, the Irish Prison Service said the aim of the initiative was multi-faceted.

“The objective of this market sounding exercise is to get a clear understanding of the level of interest in the canteen/commercial kitchen facility to meet the catering requirements of Irish Prison Service staff while also creating a mechanism for providing employment for people who are distant from the labour market and to obtain feedback on the proposition.”

If you are interested in putting your name forward for selection/expressing your interest, please e-mail the following details to info@irishprisons.ie or siobhan@workingtochange.ie before close of business on Friday, November 26, 2021.

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