The Department of Correctional Services roll-out of Operation Hira in the Western Cape yesterday (19 November) was an overwhelming success! More than 770 applications of qualifying professionals in the field of health, infrastructure and administration were processed and the recruitment procedure will be completed within 7 days.
The job fair, which aims to attract scarce and critical skills to correctional centres, has instilled hope in those who have ambitions of contributing towards rehabilitating offending behaviour.
The concept of Operation Hira was born during the 2015 Budget Vote Speech in which Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Adv. Michael Masutha, pledged to expand the department’s capacity to deliver better and smarter services, by stepping up the recruitment of professionals to fill the high levels of vacancies in the scarce skills categories.
Sharing his excitement and appreciation about the speedy recruitment process, Heinrich De Kock, a 30-year old Masters degree holder in Clinical Psychology who is currently doing community service at Brandvlei Correctional Centre, shared his passion for transforming other people’s lives.
He said that although the job can look challenging from the outside, due to contacts with different offenders including those that committed atrocious crimes, he was looking forward to joining the department on a full time basis to rebuild character and to give hope to those who have stumbled.
Another hopeful candidate with a qualification in Education emphasised the need for the department to intensify educational programmes for offenders and to also recruit more skilled professionals to empower offenders with the much needed knowledge that will pave a way to a better and crime-free life upon release.
The job fair didn’t count only successes, but a few glitches where some hopeful job-seekers got disappointed when their applications were rejected because their qualifications and skills were not relevant. Such applicants included Zilungile Nunu (30), a Food and Beverages Management graduate, who wanted to apply for a Supply Chain Management post.
She said that: “I’m grateful to Correctional Services for not accepting applications of those who do not qualify, thereby not leaving them hopeful of being called for an interview whilst their applications are actually gathering dust somewhere in store rooms.” She further said that if other government departments can adopt this vibrant approach to filling vacancies, the level of unemployment in the country, especially for young people, will drop drastically.
Wrapping up the first day of the job fair, Correctional Services Chief Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources, Teboho Mokoena, shared his delight about the turn-out and praised the recruitment team for the high level of engagement with candidates while showing empathy to those who didn’t have complete documents for resubmission later.
Mokoena praised Western Cape professionals for heeding the call to join hands with Correctional Services in contributing towards building safer and peaceful communities through the successful rehabilitation of offenders within the 243 centres around the country.
The job fair will proceed to Bloemfontein City Hall in the Free State on 23-24 November 2015.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS