Press Release – Department Of Corrections
Eleven prisoners from Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF) have graduated with a national qualification gained by constructing the framework for a house that is being built for a Northland family in housing need as part of the prisons partnership …25 June 2013
Graduating Prisoners Gain Skills While Building House
Eleven prisoners from Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF) have graduated with a national qualification gained by constructing the framework for a house that is being built for a Northland family in housing need as part of the prison’s partnership with housing charity Habitat for Humanity Northland and training provider NorthTec.
David Pattinson, Acting Prison Manager NRCF said Te Whare Tuku Aroha (the House Gift of Love) is a project with many far reaching benefits.
“This project benefits a family in need of healthy and affordable housing and the wider community as well by giving prisoners sustainable skills that will help them find a job when released. With tuition provided by NorthTec, prisoners have gained practical, hands-on experience in construction and trade skills, along with the theory to support it, and have also gained a qualification.
“It is also a great opportunity for them to give something back to the community,” he said.
The four bedroom house is being built in the prison’s workshop behind the wire. When completed, it will be lifted over the wire and transported to a section in Dargaville.
Habitat for Humanity Northland Executive Officer, Conrad LaPointe said it was proud to be partnering with Corrections and NorthTec to provide an affordable home for a Dargaville family.
“This is an exciting project to be part of. It not only provides numerous benefits for all involved, but is a unique initiative in our mission to provide affordable housing solutions for low income families. We hope this is the first of many homes built under this partnership,” Mr LaPointe said.
The prisoners gained the Elementary Construction Level 2 embedded with the National Certificate in Building Construction and Allied Trade Skills.
Adele McLean, Academic Manager Trade and Technology Innovations at NorthTec said the prisoners had worked hard to achieve their qualification.
“We worked with the prison to ensure the prisoners had the right balance of theory as well as practical training. Many prisoners involved in the project to date hadn’t picked up a hammer before the build started, so they should be proud of their results,” she said.
The graduating prisoners have built the framework for the house. In a few weeks, a new group of prisoners will continue work on the house while undertaking training provided by NorthTec. Two prisoners will also complete a Level 4 in Elementary Construction. All prisoners are fully supervised and all work is inspected. Professional tradespeople will install the plumbing and electrics.
“Raising the skill levels of prisoners not only helps their chances of finding sustainable employment on release, but more importantly makes prisoners less likely to re-offend, which in turn helps to keep our communities safe,” Mr Pattinson said.
Corrections is committed to reducing re-offending by 25 per cent by 2017. The Department aims to provide quality employment activities, the opportunity to attain recognised qualifications, and more vocational training and on-the-job experience.