Associate Trainer

Unlocked Graduates

  • Salary: £12.95-£14.95 per hour dependent on experience
  • Location: Leeds. (With some initial training taking place in London)
  • Closing: 2:59pm, 28th Apr 2022 BST

Job Description

Hours: Full-time/flexible options available

Contract: Up to ten weeks (Mon-Fri) between 4th July and 9th September 2021

Closing date: Rolling deadline

The organisation

Unlocked Graduates is an award-winning charity which exists to break cycles of re-offending by developing outstanding individuals to lead rehabilitation in prisons and throughout society.

At the core of our mission is a leadership development programme that brings top graduates into prisons to work as frontline prison officers for two years. This programme includes mentoring, work placements in partner organisations and a fully-funded Master’s degree, all of which they take part in while taking on the full duties of a frontline prison officer.

The project grew out of a recommendation in the Coates’ Review of prison education. Participants are selected through a rigorous and competitive recruitment process which is raising the profile of the prison officer role. Last year the scheme was ranked 36th in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list.

Once a year Unlocked holds a Summer Institute (SI), this is the Unlocked version of the Prison Officer Entry Level Training (POELT). Beyond operating a secure, safe and decent establishment, our training adopts a holistic approach to supporting individual desistance. During SI, our trainee participants receive 35 days of training across the seven weeks, which includes five shadowing days, content for their Master’s, the standard POELT material as well as Unlocked additional content. Essentially, the Unlocked and Master’s degree sessions cover a wide range of topics that we feel will enable our participants to be the best prison officers they can possibly be and to support individuals in desisting from crime in the most effective way.


The communities that we exist to serve are diverse, and to thrive in our work towards our mission, we must be too. We believe that diversity not only makes for a stronger team but should also be celebrated. We therefore aim to create a workplace that is 3 welcoming for all, inclusive of ethnicity, disability, age, religious belief, marital status, pregnancy, sexuality or gender. To remove bias where possible, we blind assess candidates for interview based on their relevant skills, qualifications or experience.

We are looking specifically for candidates who have lived experience of the criminal justice system, as well as those with a prison officer background.

The role

This role is an exciting opportunity to be part of our new participants’ initial prison officer training. Associate Trainers will primarily support in the classroom, using their experience of the criminal justice system to increase participants’ understanding of prisons and those held in custody.

Alongside supporting in training sessions, you will work with some of our Mentoring Prison Officers (MPOs) and Summer Trainers to guide a group of participants as they make rapid progress towards becoming excellent Prison Officers at our Summer Institute.

You will also play a key part in the logistical delivery of SI, assisting with setting up the training spaces, supporting with equipment and resource management and playing an active part in supporting our practice-based learning sessions.

See “A day in the life of an Associate Trainer” section below for more details of the role.


Ideally, you would join us for the full project length of ten weeks. This consists of three weeks of staff training followed by Summer Institute.

We recognise that your availability may be constrained by other job commitments or pre-booked leave. We’d still be keen to hear from you if you cannot do the whole nine weeks. Doing the role part-time is also possible. We are also in the process of confirming the model and it’s likely there will be a gap in the weeks commencing 8th and 15th August where participants will be undergoing training in their regions.

Key responsibilities


• Model and promote Unlocked Graduates’ values and mission throughout all training.

• Work alongside other staff, co-deliver training activities including teaching sessions, facilitating discussions and supporting scenarios and practice activities.

• Take on board feedback given about your sessions to improve your delivery.

• Take part in formative peer observations to support colleagues in improving their practice.

Support and tracking

• Work with our MPOs and Summer Trainers to guide a group of participant trainees as they make rapid progress and become excellent officers at our Summer Institute.

• Work with other staff and stakeholders at Summer Institute to identify support needs.

• Observe and monitor participants’ progress in line with organisational expectations and feed this into the Unlocked Graduates tracking system.

• Report where participants display a cause for concern in line with the Unlocked Graduates reporting procedures.


• Provide formative feedback in sessions to support participants to improve rapidly.

• Support assessment of participants’ practical skills in summative assessments.

• Document participants’ practical skills reliably and consistently.

Programme and event delivery

• Manage the study environment; distribute and set up equipment, materials and IT equipment.

• Ensure teaching and practice areas are regularly checked.

• Support set up and pack down of the training facility and set up of specific event logistics.

• Provide ad hoc additional support to the delivery team on a rota basis.

• Support delivery of social/networking/wellbeing events including taking the lead to run evening events sharing your experience and expertise with participants.

Person specification

The successful candidate will be passionate about Unlocked’s mission and model and be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience.

Knowledge and experience

• Awareness or experience of different prisons or criminal justice settings gained either by professional or lived experience.

• Practical understanding of desistance from crime; changing behaviour and choices; and an understanding of the importance of the role of the prison officer in reducing reoffending.

• Experience of effectively managing a varied workload with competing priorities.

Characteristics and skills

• Excellent verbal communication skills. • Good at relationship building and creating a trusting environment.

• Optimistic and motivated, with a positive outlook.

• Organised and methodical.

• Good presentation and facilitation skills.

• Sound observation skills and judgement of others’ strengths and areas of improvement.

• Able to work with minimal supervision in a high-pressured environment and take the initiative when things go wrong.

• Reflective self-improver who is keen to use feedback and training to develop.

• Team player – enthusiastic about mucking in to support the wider team where needed.


• Teaching or training experience, preferably to colleagues and/or service users.

Other requirements and logistics

You will need the right to work in the UK and be based in or willing to relocate to Leeds, spending Monday to Friday at our Summer Institute residential training. Accommodation and food are provided and you can claim back travel expenses.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Thu 28th Apr 2022


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Thu 28th Apr 2022