Pretoria: A partnership between the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and National Skills Fund (NSF) is helping to equip offenders with skills.
The NSF, together with a group of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) contributed R66.4 million that assisted about 6 416 offenders with various skills programmes.
The programmes ranged from building and plastering, tiling, plumbing, painting, electricity, welding, vehicle maintenance and repairs to vegetable production, chef assistant and computer skills.
The goal of the project is to provide offenders with access to occupationally-directed skills programmes that would lead to the acquisition of skills needed in the labour market.
This would create access to employment opportunities and entrepreneurship within various sectors.
The project was a huge success in the 2014/15 financial year in that all learners were trained in accredited programmes. A learner database was created for further support beyond the NSF 2014/15; 98.3% of those trained were historically disadvantaged Individuals (HDI), 7.2% were women and 60.7% youth benefited.
Skills development is a critical component of the offender rehabilitation strategy within DCS.
The current partnership that DCS has with the NSF of implementing skills programmes ensures that beneficiaries are able to access employment opportunities and entrepreneurship within various sectors.
This also includes access to further education and training development at higher institutions such as universities, universities of technology and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS