Site Safe CourseHaving a Building Construction Site Passport will help 24 community-based offenders from across greater Wellington into employment.

The offenders managed by Community Corrections attended half-day courses at Site Safe’s Ngauranga premises recently. 

Twelve offenders from Porirua and Wellington and 12 from Hutt Valley and Kapiti gained their passports. 

Kapiti Community Corrections Lead Service Manager Ann Kensington said the course is designed to enhance offenders’ employability.

“Research shows that getting a sustainable job can reduce the likelihood of re-offending and help create safer communities. For the offenders we manage, having a Building Construction Site Passport is one step closer to securing employment. Recruitment companies recognise the importance of these passports when hiring for construction projects.”

The course covered hands-on inspection of personal protective equipment; harnesses, power-tools/mechanical plant and electrical leads, hazard identification and reporting, among other topics relevant to working on a building or construction site.

For a 19-year old Kapiti offender, attending the course made him think about safety in the workplace: “I never really thought about how badly I could hurt myself at work doing something dumb.”

A Kapiti offender in his late 40s also took home some workplace safety messages: “I learnt the ‘step back and look’ process in working on site as the ideal way to address situations that may be potentially dangerous.”

He could see the benefit in having a site safe passport: “The necessity of a site safe card is a must for anyone wishing to work on site. The fact that I now have a card is a bonus as it is a pre-requisite for a position.” 

Offenders were encouraged to attend the course by their probation officer and Community Corrections Education and Employment Officers (CEEOs). CEEOs help community-based offenders and recently-released prisoners identify their education, training and employment needs. Support includes writing CVs, interview tips, as well as identifying literacy and numeracy needs. Eligible offenders are also assisted to gain their driver’s licence.