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​Hot off the presses…inmates learning new skills

Published Date: Tuesday 25 September 2018

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Dozens of Long Bay inmates are working in screen and digital printing at the Long Bay Correctional Complex in Sydney’s east, providing them with practical skills that can help them gain employment after their release.

Corrective Services Industries print shop Manager Angelo Varnakulasingham said the workshop offers the same quality, variety and expertise as other commercial offset and digital printing companies.

“We have produced a wide variety of print products for store fitouts, charity boxes, display stands and even the branded ‘selfie’ frame that is widely used at celebration and events,” Mr Varnakulasingham said.

“Inmates receive training by professionals and are expected to deliver a high calibre of work to quality accredited standards, failure to do so means they lose their place on the highly sought after jobs.

“Our 22-strong print shop staff produces excellent results. Not only do we generate profit to help the centre be more self-sufficient, but it assists inmates with future job prospects by gaining practical experience. 

Long Bay Governor Pat Aboud said the opportunity for inmates to complete work-related training was having positive results. 

“The number of inmates working full-time will increase to 30 in the coming months, with more keen to work in screen printing and digital printing,” Governor Aboud said.

“It is testament to the hard-working staff and the keenness of inmates who want to further their opportunities post-release with meaningful employment.”

The Metropolitan Special Programs Centre houses more than 1,000 maximum and minimum-security inmates, with 60 per cent gainfully employed in the bakery, laundry, textiles, technology, grocery warehouse and food services.

CSI operates over 100 commercial business units and service industry teams across the state. Inmates benefit by gaining work skills that improve their employment prospects and help them reintegrate into the community.