The prisons minister has revealed plans to bring back retired prison officers to "model what good behaviour looks like".

Speaking at the Prison Governors Association's annual conference on Wednesday, Rory Stewart said former staff would be recruited on six-month contracts to improve training.

He said although governors had previously spent 10 to 15 years developing their skills, that was now "a luxury we simply cannot afford".

Mr Stewart said to combat the high numbers of young officers, it was necessary "to bring back retired officers and pay them on six-month contracts simply to do that basic work so they can model what good behaviour looks like".

He continued: "That's partly about appealing to you (the delegates) to know who is good - we don't want to bring back people you thought were no good in the first place.

"But there are a lot of very good people we are bringing back.

"I think at a time where we have far too many young, inexperienced people it would be very useful to have an extra surge of experience."

Addressing the reasons for bringing back retired officers, Mr Stewart said: "One thing we obviously have to do very differently is the way we train people.

"In the past, quite understandably, almost everybody in this room would have developed their jailcraft over 10 or 15 years in the service.

"That is a luxury we simply cannot afford. We need much more rigorous and much more focused training very, very early on so these young, inexperienced officers get there much sooner."

He added: "We basically need to be able to provide the experienced staff to stand over their shoulder and watch this officer do it 50 times again and again."