Canon partners w Corrections to up-skill Inmates
17th July 2008
Canon partners with Corrections to up-skill Inmates
Canon New Zealand has announced a significant agreement with the Department of Corrections that will see prison inmates trained to assemble and dismantle machines.
Following a successful trial at both Rimutaka Prison and Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, workshops are being set up which will potentially employ up to eight inmates at each prison. It will provide training and up-skilling for the prisoners with the aim to increase their chances of gaining employment upon release.
Craig Manson, managing director of Canon New Zealand believes the programme fits with the one of the company’s core values which is the Kyosei Philosophy.
“This means ‘living and working together for the common good of the community. The investment of time and resources into this programme is not only going to assist the prisoners with possible reintegration into society but also help to develop safer communities as research shows that prisoners who find sustainable employment on release are less likely to re-offend.”
Over the past six years Canon NZ have supplied photocopiers, printers and scanners to the Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) scheme at the Wellington Prison Printshop and witnessed the employment scheme in action. Canon was impressed by the quality of the work produced and decided to enter into a contract.
A technician from Canon attends the workshop and trains the inmates in the assembly and dismantling of the photocopiers and there is also an electronic manufacturing instructor there at all times to oversee the work.
Currently across both workshops 135 new machines are being assembled per month. The initial target for refurbishment was set at 30 to 50 machines per month; the workshops are exceeding this already.
Prisoners working within the Canon workshops are able to obtain NZQA credits towards a National Certificate in Electronic Manufacturing Level 3.
Canon is faced with the situation where demand for services is outstripping supply in both the Wellington and Auckland regions, with technicians spending the majority of their time on site honouring the service agreements. This partnership will address the issue of the shortage of qualified workers within the market.
Declan Ryan, Canon Wellington branch manager says the quality of the work produced by the prisoners was of such a high standard they could hardly tell the difference between theirs and that of the technicians.
Ryan said “One of the inmates said he felt the work provided him with the opportunity to give back to the community whilst addressing his rehabilitation.
Not only is the implementation of this agreement providing valuable training and employment opportunities for inmates in the prison system, it also supports Canon’s environmental policy.
Manson said “Canon has a commitment to reducing waste and increasing sustainability and this programme is a great example of how to make that ideology a reality.”
“Canon works hard to reduce environmental burden and we focus on the complete lifecycle of our product. This scheme encompasses not only dismantling and rebuilding of machines but also the recycling of components,” concluded Manson.
At present the pilot recycling scheme in Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility is producing a pallet of recyclable components from the machines per month, minimising the impact on land fills.
In an ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint Canon sells it products on a ‘cradle to grave’ basis which means that when a machine becomes obsolete the client can bring it back to Canon for recycling.