ExGate Self-Employment Training

Nationally endorsed course

Our XGSET (ExGate Self-Employment Training) self-employment training course is endorsed, both for our direct- and distance-learning training formats, by the national awards body National Open College Network (NOCN) via its One Awards Quality Mark. The Quality Mark provides important, independent, recognition of the quality, standard of the content and delivery of the training that we offer.

XGSET learners receive endorsed certificates confirming their participation in our training activity. Meanwhile programme endorsement assures service contractors and course participants alike that the content, management and delivery of our training is regularly reviewed and that we have in place a continuous development and improvement process.

XGSET is only available to prisoners in custody, in-gate.

Delivery options

Courses can either be run face-to-face on site in prison establishments in a direct training format, or can be provided in a COVID-19 secure manner via a mostly distance-learning training format and a short period of vital face-to-face group workshop activity which consolidates learning and takes place in an on-site, COVID-19 secure, training space.

Each course run for up to 8 participants at a time.

The direct training format course typically runs for 10 working days on site and 13 working days in total (includes 3 days off site analysis and report writing by ExGate staff). While fine tuning of start times will be finalised and agreed with each host establishment, the course has deliberately been tailored to cover a 2 hrs 30 mins time period in the morning and 2 hrs 45 mins time period in the afternoon that can typically be accommodated by most establishments.

The distance-learning training format course typically last around 6 calendar weeks in order to give course participants time to complete various workbook tasks and time to absorb the training content provided via DVD and workbook-based training content.

Each course participant commits in writing to full course attendance. This is necessary because, each day, the course builds upon what has previously been learned and needs to move forward at pace.

Course content

The XGSET course mixes formal training with group workshops. The distance-learning content additionally includes interviews with a range of different people who each have first-hand experience of setting up their own businesses from scratch.

Workshops involve both self-assessment exercises and group exercises. Group exercises are critiqued in an open but moderated manner so that all course participants learn from each other and gain a positive training experience.

Participants are provided with a course workbook and are encouraged to make their own notes too.

Training support

Participants are first led into the mindset needs of someone who establishes and runs a small business. Later they are asked to think more deeply about specific commercial issues and in a context of their own prospective businesses. The course concludes with each participant generating their own Business Plan – which can then be taken forward with family, friends or funding organisations once they transit ex-gate.

ExGate provides course feedback throughout either via direct conversation (in the direct training format) or via personalised video or written correspondence (in the distance-learning format).

All participants receive a Certificate of Completion. And our respect.

XGSET – Course Outline
Stage 1 (Information, knowledge, continual assessment)

MODULE 1: Character & leadership

Examines leadership and personal qualities, anxieties, family influences, effects of past work experiences

MODULE 2: Job skills

Compares and assesses the skills gained in previous employment against those needed in business

MODULE 3: Introduction of self-employment

Delivers insights on the key issues to consider when establishing a small business from scratch

MODULE 4: Business Models

Participants explore business issues contextually against four different business models

MODULE 5: Progress assessment

Data analysis and candidate assessment & report writing

Personalised feedback – on course progress, recommendations for additional training (if required)

Stage 2 (coaching, preparation)

MODULE 6: Business Planning for Real

Participants focus this section on their own business ideas and are given detailed guidance and support to enable them to plan and develop the launch of their own new micro-enterprises

MODULE 7: Final assessment

Data analysis and candidate assessment & report writing

Individual feedback – on the viability of the Business Plans, advising the need for further work, or signposting to third parties for prisoners