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A group of inmates at Kirkconnell Correctional Centre has been selected for a 12-month TAFE-supported engineering traineeship.
The 15 participants will be trained for a Certificate II in Engineering which will give them qualifications they can take with them into the community upon their release. This will make them "job ready" and improve their chances of employment.
Kirkconnell Correctional Centre is a minimum security facility near Bathurst with 240 inmates. About a quarter of the men are employed by the facility's fully-equipped workshop which builds charity clothing bins and vehicle trailers and maintains correctional centre equipment such as lawnmowers, whipper-snippers and other landscaping tools.
Anthony Tait, Corrective Services Industries boss at Kirkconnell believes providing inmates with practical opportunities for gaining trade skills is an important part of the Corrective Services' responsibility.
"The first aim of our new engineering workshop is to provide a place where component products can be manufactured for correctional centres across the state," he told the Western Advocate. "The second aim is to provide an opportunity for inmates to learn new skills and gain qualifications that will improve their chances of being employed and make their integration back into the community more positive."