Education and training

Research shows that participation in education and employment can significantly reduce the risk of re-offending following release from prison. Educational achievement is also important in enabling offenders to fully participate and benefit from other rehabilitative programmes.

Many prisoners lack the necessary literacy and numeracy skills and qualifications and work experience to gain and sustain employment after their release.

We estimate that approximately 65% of prisoners do not have NCEA Level One Literacy and Numeracy Competency, and that these learners are also likely to have few or no formal qualifications.
We’re committed to improving the educational outcomes of prisoners and offenders so they gain the skills needed for everyday life, and are ready for further education and training to develop the skills and experience that employers require.

To achieve this we offer prisoners a range of education, training and support. These include working to identify each prisoner’s educational needs and goals, and targeting services to address these. Services include education needs assessments, learning plans, and access to literacy and numeracy support, foundation qualifications and industry and vocational training.

Education Assessment  and Learning Pathway (EA/LP)

To ensure learners are on a pathway to progress towards their education and employment goals and aspirations, Corrections provides education assessments and learning pathways.

We assess a range of learner needs (including literacy and numeracy and previous NZQA record of learning) and work with the learner to identify the programmes of study and qualifications they can take to achieve their goals. This gives learners a long-term learning pathway, gaining maximum educational benefit and addressing their identified needs.

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN)

Poor literacy and numeracy are a barrier to further education and employment, and can negatively impact a prison learner’s everyday life.

To address this, Corrections provide intensive literacy and numeracy services nationally, aiming to support prisoners to improve their literacy and numeracy competency so they can work towards formal qualifications and gain the skills expected by employers. Services are targeted to those with the highest need (assessed at Steps One and Two on the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Progressions). Corrections has contracted Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) to provide support to 1,200 learners per year; the Methodist Mission also provides support to learners at Otago Corrections Facility.

New Zealand Qualifications

These programmes offer prison learners access to a range of trades and non-trades qualifications provided by external providers (Polytechnics, Wānanga or Private Training Establishments) funded by the Tertiary Education Commission. These are mostly foundation level (NZQF L1 & 2) qualifications, including the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA). These qualifications provide a range of core competencies and vocational pathways to assist with employment and progression into higher level qualifications.

Prisoners can also study through Self-Directed Learning (SDL), by enrolling in secondary school, certificate, diploma and tertiary level programmes via distance learning.

Supported by education tutors, learners can enrol in programmes with providers such as the Open Wānanga, Te Kura, Open Polytechnic, and Massey. Corrections is continuing to evolve distance delivery support through our Secure Online Learning platform.

Secure Online Learning (SOL)

Suitable prisoners may engage in computer-based learning through our Secure Online Learning suites. Each prison has at least one computer suite that provides secure, controlled and monitored access to approved education, life skills, employment and reintegration focused content.

The suites are facilitated by education tutors and give prison learners an opportunity to increase their digital skills, literacy and numeracy, gain NCEA qualifications and prepare for employment before they are released. Learners engaged in Secure Online Learning have been through a rigorous selection process based on security, eligibility and need.

Industry Training

Industry Training takes place through Offender Employment (OE). Not all prison learners engaged in OE participate in Industry Training.  Industry Training is delivered by our own Industry Instructors with quality assurance by external Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). These programmes enable leaners to gain industry-related skills through on-the-job training to support employment across a number of areas, including primary industries, building and construction, and engineering.

Vocational Short Courses

These short duration (non-qualification) programmes delivered by external providers enable prison learners to gain vocational and employment-related unit standards to assist with employment.

This includes programmes in the areas of first aid, health and safety and vocational driver licences. Examples of programmes include working at heights, scaffolding, forklift, chainsaws and quad bike use.

Updated 21 April 2017