Three workshops will provide training in plumbing, roofing and drain laying, painting and decorating, and automotive engineering to around 130 extra prisoners annually. Prisoners will be prioritised for training based on their upcoming release date and their willingness to help in Christchurch.
“The prisoners will have had to complete any recommended rehabilitation programmes alongside their trade training and achieved a level of literacy and numeracy,” Ms Collins said. “The training is completely geared towards supporting the Christchurch rebuild in the coming years.
“Getting released prisoners into stable jobs has been proven to reduce re-offending, and in Canterbury there will be jobs for these men to walk into. It is a unique opportunity to help these men turn their lives around while giving something back to the community. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
The six 17-week and three seven-week courses, each of which cater for 16 prisoners, will be run by tutors from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. The training delivered will be exactly the same as that delivered to students at the polytechnic campus.
Prisoners successfully completing the courses will leave prison with a Level 2 National Certificate in their selected trade. Some will also have the opportunity to gain Level 3 and 4 unit standards, contributing towards an apprenticeship.
Graduates from the courses who are nearing release and meet the eligibility criteria may also go on the Release to Work programme and apply for jobs prior to their release.