Thirteen prisoners recently celebrated their successful graduation from a Building, Construction, and Allied Trades Skills (BCATS) course at Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF).
All thirteen prisoners graduated with a Level 2 National Certificate BCATS – a step in the direction of becoming trade qualified. The course, offered in partnership with NorthTec, has seen over 120 prisoners graduate with Level 2 and 3 National Certificate in BCATS.
“It is great to see the prisoners work hard to try and make a difference to their lives through learning new skills,” says CIE Area Manager Don Robertson.
“They learn some great skills on the BCATS course, from basic carpentry skills through to the complex trigonometry and calculations that are used in the building industry.”
By introducing prisoners to basic employment skills we help to give them valuable work experience and teach them trade specific skills that can be used when they return to the community,” says Don.
“Helping prisoners turn their lives around by building their skills and confidence to find sustainable employment on release helps reduce reoffending, ultimately making our communities safer.”
The course has been a big success with prisoners, and a building expansion is underway to allow ten four-week courses to be offered next year - allowing 60 prisoners places at NRCF to gain National Certificates in Building, Construction, and Allied Trades Skills.
“We hope that what they’ve learnt can be put to good use and that the prisoners start to see the benefit of participating positively in their community.”
The guys graduating today have already found time to put their new skills to use – they’ve constructed picnic tables for use at local high schools and a bench seat for the main street in Kawakawa. It gave the guys a great sense of achievement,” says Don.
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