Prisoners uncover new skills in mining training program

Media release: Training program run at Karnet Prison Farm gives prisoners job-ready skills in mining, construction and related industries.

Twelve Aboriginal men have been awarded certifications in civil construction after completing an industry recognised training course at Karnet Prison Farm.

The minimum-security prisoners graduated from the successful Carey Bindjareb program, which is a collaboration between the Department, traditional owners and Aboriginal contractor Carey Mining.

Developed and with the ongoing support of Binjareb elder Uncle John Alexander, the course is part of the rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of the Department and aims to address the high incarceration rate of Aboriginal men.

During the 14-week course participants earn a Certificate II in Civil Construction, High Risk Forklift Ticket and Working at Heights qualification.

In addition to the formal qualifications, they also learn important life skills including responsibility, time management and integrity.

More than two thirds of former graduates who have been released are employed by mining, construction or related companies.

The majority of those in the community who haven’t yet found employment are continuing to work with Carey Training to find suitable work or training opportunities.

Acting Commissioner for Corrective Services Mike Reynolds praised the program for its success and encouraged more WA businesses to consider ex-prisoners when recruiting.

“We work to ensure that, when they are released, the men and women who have been in custody are as prepared as they can be to reintegrate with society. They also have throughcare support to continue on their rehabilitation pathways,” Commissioner Reynolds said.

“We know that for an ex-prisoner, being able to obtain gainful employment post-release is very important in minimising the chances of reoffending. I encourage all Western Australian businesses to consider joining us in the fight to break the cycle of crime, by giving former prisoners a go.”