26 September 2023

Jobs on offer to women prisoners

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Corrective Services has revealed that prisoners at Bandyup Women’s Prison have been given the opportunity to walk straight into employment upon release.

The women have been interviewed and recruited by mining equipment company, WesTrac for work traditionally undertaken by men.

The company said Western Australia was suffering a severe skills shortage and it was looking for women to fill job vacancies.

At a recruitment talk at Bandyup, WesTrac officials told prisoners they wanted to get more women into their workforce and were offering apprenticeship training.

Employment Coordinator at the prison, Kelsey Leipold said the trade qualifications would help set the women up for success.

“Often women who have been in prison fear they won’t be able to find jobs because of the stigma of their criminal record, but with a bit of help, they can be prepared to step into waiting jobs when they‘re released.” Ms Leipold said.

The recruitment session involved 17 prisoners, many of whom were due to be released within the next six months.

One prisoner said the talk was a real eye-opener.

“I used to worry before, because I didn’t know how to start, where to go,” the prisoner said.

Spokesperson for WesTrac, Nikki Kelly said that having a more diverse and inclusive workplace had also led to better productivity and efficiency as people felt a greater sense of belonging and had better engagement.

The company is offering apprentice training for heavy duty diesel mechanics, auto electricians, welders and machinists, among others.

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