Prisoners completing industry recognised national qualifications in crane operation and concrete skills at the Auckland Prison pre-cast concrete yard are being provided with ‘great training’ according to an Auckland structural steel company.
“Brandon, an ex-prisoner, applied for a job with us along with seven other applicants. He was completely open in regard to where he had received his training and how much experience he had. His honesty was greatly appreciated, and while he hadn’t dealt with steel he had a good knowledge of crane operation, knew how to read a crane chart and understood the crane's limits,” says Dan, Managing Director of the company.
“Most guys can operate a crane but don’t know how to read the charts and maintain them, which proves that Brandon’s training is of a high quality. When we price jobs, our clients don’t just accept the best quote, we have to show that our staff have been trained, hold qualifications and are competent in what they do. Guys like Brandon meet those requirements, which makes them an asset to our company.”
While serving a prison sentence for drug offences, Brandon worked toward qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety, First Aid, Working at Heights, Working in Confined Spaces as well as National Certificates in Dogman, Tower and Mobile Crane Operation through Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE). He’s almost done a year with his employer and continues to impress them.
“If it wasn’t for CIE I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love my job and I work for a great company with a great team of guys. It’s about teamwork just as it was in prison. I owe it all to the CIE staff at the prison who were involved with my training, and also to the team of prisoners I worked with and became good friends with,” says Bandon.
“The opportunities are there for the boys, but it’s up to them if they want to make the most of them.”
The National Certificate took Brandon around nine months to complete and involved both theoretical and practical training components. Prisoners have the chance to learn on the job through working in the pre-cast yard, constructing panels for residential and commercial property development.
“By providing prisoners with the opportunity to undertake employment training and education in prison we reduce the chances of them coming back,” says CIE Engineering Sector Manager Garron Starr.
“Prisoners who use their time inside to address the causes of their offending, and work on developing skills that will help them live a crime-free life, have a much better chance of finding sustainable work on release. We know this makes them less likely to re-offend. Lower levels of reoffending ultimately make our communities safer places to live.
“The pre-cast yard is showing great results, with a number of prisoners recently completing their Level 2 National Certificates in Concrete Core Skills through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).
“One, who was released last week, had a job lined up before he left prison and was really excited about his new life on the outside and being able to earn a wage and support himself through what he learnt during his time in prison.”
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