Rational is partnering with The Clink Charity to deliver training that will help prisoners to get jobs in the foodservice and catering industries once they are released.
The Clink Charity reduces reoffending rates of ex-offenders by working in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to run projects that train prisoners and provides them with practical skills and qualifications.
Currently, the charity runs four Clink Restaurants in prisons across England and Wales that offers prisoners real experience of working in a professional kitchen, providing free training, support and mentoring to their students on the inside.
Trainees on this programme have shown a significant 65.6% drop in the rate of re-offending post release from prison, helping them to find suitable jobs in the industry.
In April 2021 The Clink Charity launched the Clink Kitchens training project with the aim of expanding this scheme to 23 additional prisons by the end of 2021, with another 36 planned for 2022.
In order to ensure the training provides up to date and relevant real-world experience, The Clink Charity has partnered with Rational to arrange training sessions for its instructors on Rational’s cooking systems.
Gregg Brown, The Clink’s Director of Training and Operations, understands the importance of providing training for these modern cooking systems.
“Throughout my career, Rational has been a constant presence in the kitchens I worked in. In order to offer prisoners, the best chance of getting a job after release it’s vital that they know how to use these systems,” he said.
The first training session was held at Rational’s head office in Luton at the end of last month. 10 trainers, who will each work at two sites, were given training on the full range of Rational’s product line.
The training covered not just the latest iCombi Pro combi steamers and iVario Pro multifunctional cooking systems, but also previous models, to allow them to provide accurate information for whichever units are installed in each prison’s kitchen.
Brown said: “Rational’s training programmes have a great reputation in the industry. These sessions will help our staff communicate this knowledge to prisoners involved in the scheme, so they know how to use Rational cooking systems, how to get the most out of them, how they can improve the quality and consistency of the food made in them, how they can reduce waste, and all the other benefits they bring.”
The Clink’s aim is to have 30 graduates of the programme per prison per year.
Rational plans to support the initiative further by sending the company’s regional managers to prisons for onsite training sessions as required.
Adam Knights, UK marketing director at Rational, said: “The past few years have seen the industry struggling with staff shortages. Rational is committed to find solutions to issues affecting the sector, and initiatives like this have enormous potential not only to help the Clink Graduates move on with their lives in a positive direction, but to have huge benefits for catering as a whole.”