The government is publishing plans to improve prison education and give inmates the skills they need to enter the labour market.
It is hoped better training will help to reduce the numbers of inmates who re-offend on release. Currently, 53% of those freed commit further crimes.
A Green Paper will urge closer co-operation between the Prison Service and employers, to try to ensure prisoners gain the skills the economy needs.
Employers are likely to be encouraged to recruit ex-offenders.
Pilot schemes which involve training prisoners, and offering them a job on release, have brought re-offending rates down to almost nil, according to BBC News Online.
Last week, a report by the Adult Learning Inspectorate said more than half of prisons offered “inadequate” training.
The Forum on Prisoner Education has broadly welcomed the publication of the paper, but said there was “a mountain to climb” in terms of persuading employers to recruit ex-offenders.