Prisoners reap the rewards of new skills
Convicted criminals have gained qualifications in computing, cooking and art in prison, the Department of Justice said.
City and Guilds certificates were awarded to 30 inmates at Magilligan jail, Co Londonderry.
Justice Minister David Ford, who made the presentation, said the skills enhanced the chances of employment after release and reduced the risk of re-offending.
He said: "I commend these prisoners who want to change and are planning for life outside prison. I have no doubt the skills will go a long way to improving their personal lives.
Accredited courses in literacy, numeracy, ICT (information, computing and technology), GCSE art, food safety and catering are run in partnership between the Prison Service and North West Regional College in Magilligan, and the Belfast Metropolitan College in Maghaberry and Hydebank Wood College which houses young offenders.
Calum Morrison, director of North West Regional College's Limavady campus, said that they were "delighted" by the achievements.