Partnership with Corrections a Win for Everyone
Last week at the Recognised Seasonal Employer Conference, a MOU for a new training initiative was signed with the Department of Corrections.
Under the new MOU, prisoners will be trained for a career in the horticulture industry while serving their sentences. This will net them valuable career skills in preparation for their release, and the industry will get trained employees to help to mitigate our chronic labour shortage. While the first round of the initiative will be in the Hawke's Bay, hopefully it will be able to expand nationwide in the near future.
Horticulture's employers have supported Corrections for years through the 'Release to Work' programme, and this is really the next level of that partnership. The initiative will deliver training that will make prisoners ideal employees, and offer permanent career opportunities upon their release.
This is a win for everyone. Not only will the prisoners and industry benefit, but the community will as well; we'll have a safer community, and a reduced likelihood of re-offenders.
I think this is a great opportunity, both for Corrections and for horticulture. We're always looking for keen and enthusiastic workers who are looking to build their knowledge and skills in the industry and we have jobs for them. It's a constant challenge for our industry to make sure it gets all the trained and reliable staff it needs. This is a win-win giving a second chance to those who need it.