Prison-trained worker now an ‘asset to company’

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‘Honesty greatly appreciated’

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,” according to Dan, managing director of the company.

“His honesty was greatly appreciated, and while he hadn’t dealt with steel he had good knowledge of crane operation, knew how to read a crane chart and understood the crane’s limits.
“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, Dan says.
“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 and Working in Confined Spaces, as well as National Certificates in Dogman, Tower and Mobile Crane Operation through Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE).

Continues to impress

He’s almost done a year with his employer, and continues to impress them.
CIE engineering sector manager Garron Starr says by providing prisoners with the opportunity to undertake employment training and education in prison, it reduces the chances of them coming back.

“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,” Mr Starr says.

Less likely to re-offend

“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.

“One, who was released recently, 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.”