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Kamloops jail, university provide trades training to inmates

January 19, 2016 - 10:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - Six inmates have already obtained the skills training needed to help gain entry-level work in construction thanks to a joint pilot program with B.C. Corrections and Thompson Rivers University.

For the last three months, inmates at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre worked on the first level of their construction craft worker program with coursework provided by the university. The program taught inmates basic skills to enter a construction field. They gained experience using small tools and learned about backfilling, excavation, scaffolding, traffic control, how to read blueprints, survey and how to use a mini-excavator. Students also obtained certification in first aid and construction safety training systems.

“My report on B.C. Corrections advocated exploring how to put certified trades training into custody centres, recognizing that most provincial inmates are serving short sentences. This pilot program is a pragmatic response: In a tight time frame, it’s prepared these six men for some of the thousands of new positions ahead in our province for those with trades training. Investing in skills is a key way that we can change offenders’ lives and make our communities safer,” Laurie Throness, parliamentary secretary for corrections, says.

Throughout their studies, the students built a cement foundation pad complete with drainage and a roof to house the jail’s portable sawmill.

Once they completed training, the inmates challenged the industry training authority CCW level one apprenticeship exam which they passed and received an apprenticeship credential. The inmates will be eligible to write the level two exam after completing 4,000 hours in the trade. From there, the men can work towards their Red Seal certification.

Following their release from the correctional centre, the university will assist the men as they work towards obtaining additional skills and seek employment.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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