Successful Conservation Corps to ExpandYouth Affairs
Hon Deborah Morris, Minister of Youth Affairs, welcomed the expansion of the successful Conservation Corps programme, administered by the Ministry of Youth Affairs.
"The Conservation Corps is a highly successful joint community and government initiative. The Budget provides $423,000 to extend the Conservation Corps programme to young prison inmates," said Ms Morris.
The Conservation Corps programme caters for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years, with 50% being Youth Action clients of the New Zealand Employment Service. Up to 80% of previous participants have entered employment, education or training within six months after completing their programme.
The projects, focusing on conservation, education and challenging recreation, offer young people the opportunity to develop valuable work skills and increase their qualifications, self esteem, and confidence.
"There are approximately 600 young people aged between 17 and 20 years of age in adult prisons. The Conservation Corps programme will seek to assist those young prisoners into employment or training and reduce the incidence of re-offending.
"This project builds on the intention in the Coalition Agreement to improve inmates' education and social skills, and I'm sure it will be grasped as a valuable rehabilitation opportunity," concluded Ms Morris.