CPIT helps prisoners upskill for rebuild

Press Release – CPIT

The Department of Corrections and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) are working together to train prisoners for the rebuild of Christchurch.

For immediate release 16/11/11

CPIT helps prisoners upskill for rebuild
The Department of Corrections and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) are working together to train prisoners for the rebuild of Christchurch.

Research is clear that prisoners who find stable, rewarding work on release reduce their chance of reoffending.

Classes in three new trade training workshops at Christchurch Prison are due to begin next week after being officially opened by Minister of Corrections Judith Collins yesterday.

CPIT tutors will deliver Level 2 National Certificates in Painting and Decorating; Automotive Engineering; and Plumbing, Roofing and Drainlaying – with an option of further training up to Level 4.

Prisoners will also be able to earn credits towards an apprenticeship on release.

An estimated 30,000 additional tradespeople will be needed to support the Christchurch rebuild programme.

CPIT Chief Executive Kay Giles said the programme was part of CPIT’s commitment to providing skills training to enable all Cantabrians to contribute to the rebuild of Christchurch.

“CPIT is responding to the projected need for skilled workers in a number of ways and now more than ever we need to be innovative in the way we deliver our programmes, so we’re very pleased to be working with Christchurch Prison and helping to expand on rehabilitation options.”

“Education is the key to positive change and although the trades programmes at Christchurch Prison is a new direction for CPIT, we think this initiative will be very positive for the individuals who take up the opportunity and for the wider community as well.

Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services General Manager Alison Thom says there is a double benefit with training making prisoners more employable – and therefore less likely to reoffend, as well as contributing to the rebuilding of Christchurch.

“We’ve picked up the challenge and with the support of CPIT will be delivering an excellent trade training programme.

“Most of the prisoners will be from the Canterbury region so they will really be giving something back.”

Ms Thom says Corrections is focused on providing a pathway for prisoners to tackle the underlying causes of their offending through rehabilitation programmes and learn the skills to support an offence-free life.

“Trade training forms an important part of their reintegration plan. We want prisoners to have the skills and opportunities to get a job on release and be productive and engaged with their community.”

ENDS

Background

The three workshops will allow around 130 more prisoners to be trained each year.

Six 17-week and three 7-week courses, each of which cater for 16 prisoners, will be run by tutors from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) at the workshops each year.

To create a pro-social learning environment the prisoners on the course will be housed in two prison units, instead of being spread across the general prison population.

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 units standards, contributing towards an apprenticeship.

Graduates from the courses who are nearing release and meet the eligibility criteria may go on the Release to Work programme and apply for jobs prior to their release.

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