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Central West inmates forging their way towards a better future

Publication date: Wednesday, 4 April 2018

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Wellington Correctional Centre industries are on track to generate a turnover of $2.1 million this financial year, while providing inmates with vital skills and TAFE-supported traineeships to assist them with their transition into the workforce.

Wellington's Corrective Services Industries Operations Manager Marcus Mastrone and his team of 35 industry staff supervise more than 450 inmate employees, who gain confidence, qualifications and practical experience working in prison industries.

"Since 2016, 120 inmates have completed traineeships and other work-related formal training in industries ranging from printing and graphic arts to retail baking or engineering," Mr Mastrone said.

"Our industries require a high standard of work and strong work ethic, which ensure inmates are better prepared to cope with the demands of employment post-release.

"These successful business units not only generate profit and help the centre become more self-sufficient, they support the local community by producing skilled tradespeople for the region."

CSI employs around two-thirds of the centre's population – more than 450 inmates – in its commercial business units or service industries, which is on track to generate a turnover of $2.1 million this financial year.

The centre's industries include a bakery, technology and assembly, printing, metal engineering and fabrication, laundry, buy ups, satellite kitchen and ground maintenance.

It also has a dedicated Community Projects Team which returns hundreds of hours' work to the community each month, by performing groundskeeping and maintenance for councils and not-for-profit organisations.

Wellington Governor Craig Smith said the centre also provides inmates with the opportunity to complete a number of short courses related to their industry employment.

"Our inmates can complete their forklift licence, gain their construction white card or food safety handling certificate in addition to their work experience, making them more attractive candidates for future employers," Mr Smith said.

"Our aim is to equip inmates with the knowledge and practical skills needed to walk out of our gates and into the workforce, so they have the confidence to support themselves and make a positive contribution to the community."