Prisoner Training Programme Promotes Sports and Educational Achievement
Media Release: 31 July 2014
A new educational and sports programme delivered at Rimutaka Prison starts next week with 15 prisoners enrolling in the National Certificate in Fitness Foundation Skills) Level 2. The 15 week programme will give prisoners key skills in customer service, health and safety, exercise, good nutrition, and knowledge of the fitness business environment. Those who complete the qualification will have a better chance of working in the fitness industry upon release.
This qualification provides the foundation for individuals to pathway to other qualifications and/or work in the sporting industry. It also has numeracy and literacy components embedded in the courses that make up the qualification.
The Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), which has been delivering trades programmes for the last 7 years at Rimutaka Prison and around the country, was approached by Rimutaka Prison a few months ago to see if WelTec could provide training to prisoners that not only delivered a qualification, but built in aspects of health and wellbeing to the prisoner’s education.
The Department of Corrections is committed to supporting prisoners to develop skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will enable them to live crime free lives as part of the strategy of Reducing Reoffending by 25%. A significant contributor to this outcome is the development of work related skills and qualifications that support them seeking, finding, and holding sustainable employment.
“We are pleased to be able to help the Department of Corrections achieve their objectives to reduce the rate of re-offending, to contribute to positive employment outcomes and a more positive future for former inmates as they move to re-integrate into communities,” says Linda Sissons, Wellington Institute of Technology Chief Executive.
“This new programme promotes sports and fitness whilst including positive aspects of health and well being which in turn has the potential to make a positive impact to individuals and social cohesion,” says Linda Sissons.
“Low levels of literacy and numeracy are seen as a significant barrier to prisoners successfully engaging in higher level education, trades training and sustainable employment. This programme is not only helps address the literacy and numeracy needs of prisoners but is also well suited to their interests,” says Kris Dahl, Manager, Offender Training and Education, Department of Corrections.
“Reducing the rate of reoffending is a high priority for the Department of Corrections. One of the key ways of achieving this is through prisoners achieving nationally recognised qualifications that lead to sustainable employment,” says Kris Dahl.