Corrections has signed up its 100th employer to offer prisoners jobs in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Waste Management today, says Corrections Minister Louise Upston.
The partnership will see Waste Management work with Corrections and offer prisoners jobs when they are released, including drivers, administration, computer operator, runners, landfill operators, general operators, labourers, diesel mechanics and call centre roles.
“It’s great to have Waste Management on board,” says Ms Upston. “There is huge potential in this partnership and I look forward to seeing it to develop and offer more employment opportunities for prisoners on release.
“Through these partnerships, Corrections is providing employers with motivated and skilled workers for a wide range of meaningful jobs.”
“We know that having stable employment plays a huge role in reducing the likelihood of reoffending once someone leaves prison. That is good for the prisoner, their whanau and the communities they return to.”
Alongside Waste Management, other employers that have signed MoUs with Corrections include Global Bus and Horticulture NZ to provide career training and sustainable employment.
Corrections delivers a wide range of education and employment training programmes in prisons including horticulture, manufacturing, construction, painting and hospitality. In the last financial year, around 9000 offenders were engaged in employment-related activities.
“The training and rehabilitation programmes in prison ensure that these people are well-equipped with quality, employable skills that are widely recognised by employers,” says Ms Upston.
“Many prisoners have limited work experience before going to prison and it’s fantastic to see these programmes making a real difference and helping get them successfully placed into employment.”
Corrections has its own recruitment service to connect offenders with meaningful jobs once they are released from prison. Over the past five months, around 300 people with convictions have been placed into long-term, sustainable jobs.
Corrections has also run an Employment Support Service over the last three years which provides job placement and in-work support for prisoners due for release and for offenders on community sentences. To date the programme has helped 137 offenders find jobs.
To support Corrections’ employment partnerships, Ms Upston will be hosting employer breakfasts in Hamilton, Christchurch and Wellington over the next few months. Employers will be invited to come and learn more about partnering with Corrections to provide jobs for offenders.