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Whanganui Prison Instructors Train the Trainers

For Immediate Release Monday 31 October2016

Whanganui Prison Instructors Train the Trainers

A joint initiative between Whanganui Prison and Community Corrections will mean more community-based offenders have the chance to obtain a sought-after agrichemical qualification.

Two prison instructors recently trained nine community work supervisors from Levin, Palmerston North, Whanganui, Hawera, and New Plymouth to obtain their Growsafe certificate.

The Growsafe-certified community work supervisors are now able to train suitable community-based offenders in the practical component of the agrichemical qualification. The classroom based component will be delivered by Whanganui Prison instructors in the community.

“This training is a win-win for everyone,” says Whanganui Prison’s Assistant Director Elizabeth Manchee.

“A Growsafe certificate is a highly sought after qualification. It’s the only qualification of its kind in the country and is recognised by many organisations including local and regional councils, roading contractors and the Department of Conservation.”

The community work supervisors attended a one day Growsafe Agrichemical training course at Whanganui Prison. The supervisors then had to complete three lots of spraying in their own time, keeping a diary of their spraying activities.

A Growsafe certificate means the community work supervisors are qualified to apply and supervise the use of agrichemicals in the workplace, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and compliance with regional and local authority requirements.

Coralea Easther, Whanganui/Taranaki District Manager says having the certification has upskilled community work supervisors.

“It will be particularly useful at various tracks and walkways we manage when supervisors may need to spray weeds.”

“The flow-on effect of the training will benefit community-based offenders who could also be trained in the future,” she says.

Hati Kaiwai, Acting Wairarapa/Manawatu District Manager agrees; “For offenders, obtaining a Growsafe certificate could lead to job opportunities, particularly in market gardening areas”.

The Growsafe course focuses on the safe, effective, responsible use and management of agrichemicals. Course content includes legislation, agrichemicals, planning and recording, use, storage, transportation and disposal of chemicals.

Reducing re-offending is Corrections’ top priority and by helping offenders to learn skills and earn qualifications, it could help them gain employment. Research shows that getting a sustainable job can reduce the likelihood of re-offending and help create safer communities.


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