Employment programme places 2,800 offenders into work

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says strong partnerships with local employers are helping offenders successfully transition back into their communities and keeping the public safe.

Speaking at today’s Second Chance Career Expo at Otago Corrections Facility, Kelvin Davis said over 2,800 former prisoners and community-based offenders had been placed into jobs under the Coalition Government.

“Our Government is committed to reducing crime and reoffending, and we know helping offenders into work is an important step in achieving this - but we can’t do it alone,” Kelvin Davis said.

“We’re fortunate to have so many employers willing to give people a second chance. In the last financial year alone, Corrections has secured job placements with around 1,200 employers in a range of industries, including construction, forestry and farming.

“This benefits everyone: Employers who can access a reliable, trained and motivated workforce; the person who’s able to leave prison knowing they’ll have an income, stability and support; and the public who are obviously safer when people don’t reoffend and are able to turn their lives around,” Kelvin Davis said.

Four Second Chance Career Expos have been held this year at Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility, Spring Hill Corrections Facility, Whanganui Prison and Otago Corrections Facility. 

The expos are part of This Way for Work, a nationwide wraparound employment service that helps offenders find and maintain employment, alongside supporting the employers who hire them. 

“The expos support the work we’re doing through Hōkai Rangi – Corrections’ new strategy to break the cycle of reoffending and imprisonment,” Kelvin Davis said.

“They are about showing people in prison that it is possible to find a job and to build a better future for themselves and their whānau.

“They are also about showing employers that if they’re willing to look beyond someone’s past, and give them a go, then they might just find themselves a great employee,” Kelvin Davis said.

Notes to editors

  • The Second Chance Career Expos are divided into two parts, including employer exhibitions to give industries experiencing long-term labour shortages the opportunity to showcase their work and attract new staff, as well as speed-recruiting interviews for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence and actively seeking employment post release.