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More prisoners gain qualifications

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections
6 September 2011
Media Statement

More prisoners gain qualifications

The number of prisoners gaining NZQA qualifications has increased 159 percent over the past three years, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said today.

In the last financial year 711 National Certificates were awarded to prisoners, compared with just 275 in 2008/09.

“National Certificates are real qualifications that will help prisoners find real jobs when they are released from prison,” Ms Collins said.

“We know that stable employment is a key factor in reducing re-offending rates. When prisoners finish their sentences, we don’t want to see them back.”

In total, prisoners engaged in employment training have achieved 2,798 qualifications over the past financial year.

The qualifications include horticulture, building, mechanical engineering and crane operation.

Corrections is also teaching prisoners to read and write at the same time as they are in work training.

So far 46 employment instructors have been trained to help prisoners improve their literacy skills. This has benefited more than 600 prisoners to date.

In the next few months the Department will open new workshops at Christchurch Men’s Prison that will see a further 130 prisoners undertake trade and employment training to help meet the demand for skills in the Christchurch recovery.

“This will give prisoners the skills they need to contribute to the rebuild, both from within prison and following their release,” Ms Collins said.


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