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Prisoners get skilled-up

Saturday, 4th July, 2015

An inmate working on equipment during his TAFE course that was run at the Broken Hill jail. An inmate working on equipment during his TAFE course that was run at the Broken Hill jail.

A small group of Broken Hill Correctional Centre inmates completed a Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operation and none of them missed so much as a day’s lesson.

They attended the TAFE course at the prison and learned how to operate a loader, excavator and skid steer. They also gained skills which will help them use a pump, generators, power tools and hand tools.

TAFE Western Earthworks head teacher, Lindsay Griffith, said TAFE Western Connect provided flexible study options for students and, in this instance, prepared the inmates for life outside of prison.

“An inmate who has recently been released from Broken Hill Correctional Centre has started driving earth moving equipment in Sydney, while another two inmates who completed the course have since been offered work release with a local construction company,” Mr Griffith said.

“It’s fantastic that through TAFE Western Connect we’ve been able to provide these inmates with important skills they need to find a job and advance their careers.”

TAFE teacher, Marty Havercroft, said as part of the course participants laid concrete pavers, installed two park benches and built a retaining wall at the prison.

“This was the first time I have taught a group with a 100 per cent attendance rate, proving how dedicated this group was and how much they enjoyed the course,” he said.

Senior CSNSW education officer Nicki Levi and literacy and numeracy teacher Kim Vodic, who helped deliver the theoretical components of the course, also noted the inmates’ dedication to their study.

“After the completion of the course, each of them has developed a new sense of themselves as capable learners and competent workers,” Mr Vodic said.

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