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Offenders get employment-ready in Hamilton

Offenders get employment-ready in Hamilton

Corrections is working with Careers Matter, an organisation whose aim is to inspire and equip individuals in employment preparation and placement, to help support offenders in Hamilton to be employment ready.

The programme is designed to help participants gain the knowledge and skills to find stable employment. Research shows that there is a strong link between meaningful and sustained employment and reduced re-offending.

District Manager Probation, Rowan Balloch, knows the importance of employment in helping offenders to turn their lives around,

“A steady job can make such a difference in the lives of offenders and it can be a real protective factor. Employment not only offers the income needed to provide and support a family, but also mentorship, structure and self confidence.

Some of the people we manage have made mistakes in their lives, however now they are willing to do the work and make the necessary changes. The result of those changes is a happier and safer community so it really is the right thing to do.”

Careers Matters employment consultant Hilary McCabe, works one-on-one with offenders referred from Hamilton Community Corrections and is already starting to see success stories after only two weeks:

“I met a client recently and we got him an interview as a painter after completing his CV and career goals during his appointment. I have several employers looking for workers on my books and it’s just a matter of matching the right people up, with the right skills, and the right roles.”

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Sessions with Hilary cover a range of topics to help prepare offenders for the world of work, including suitable and desired types of work, steps to gaining employment, interview skills, and overcoming employment barriers. Clients are then offered follow up support and assistance with job applications. All job seekers receive an employment plan with goals identified as well as a completed CV and cover letter.

Hilary explains how a good CV can make a real difference and provide that extra bit of confidence:

“I notice a huge difference when an offender completes their CV and has some specific career goals. Often the offender does not realise how skilled they are until they see it on paper; it really changes their perspective on getting employment.”

Hilary will work with 65 offenders serving their sentences in the community.

Corrections is committed to reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017. Providing offenders with work and living skills not only helps in achieving this goal but it also adds significantly to the social well-being of our communities as offenders become productive members of our society.


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