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Case Study: Department of Corrections – Trades Training for prisoners

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Last updated 12 March 2014 15:47 by NZTecAdmin

These clips provide snapshots of embedded literacy and numeracy practices in Offender Employment trades training programmes within the Department of Corrections. Corrections has recognised the importance of investing in its staff to ensure they have the necessary skills and expertise to support prisoners improve their literacy and numeracy skills by embedding literacy and numeracy skills within their trades training programmes. Over 100 Instructors have achieved the National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) Level 5. In these clips Instructors and prisoners share their experience of the programme, and describe how the literacy and numeracy training contributes both to their abilities to understand and apply trades skills, and to changes in their personal lives.

Growing literacy and numeracy skills

Two Agriculture and Horticulture Instructors and their prisoner learners speak about developing literacy and numeracy skills and the contribution towards the learners' achievement of National Certificates in Horticulture and Agriculture Level 2.

Key content:

  • Practical literacy and numeracy training within the context of agriculture and horticulture training.
  • Learner experience of being taught literacy and numeracy via trades training
  • Demonstration of informal peer tutoring.

Things to think about:

  • How did the Instructors engage effectively with their learners?
  • How did the Instructors demonstrate the practical application of literacy and numeracy to their learners?
  • How did the Instructors use questions to elicit their learners’ knowledge?

Building literacy and numeracy in construction training

A trade qualified and experienced Carpentry Instructor and some of his prisoner learners speak about the application of contextualised writing and numeracy training to the National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (BCATs) Level 2.

Key content:

  • Application of writing skills to building and construction trades
  • Demonstration by learners of applying numeracy skills to measurement tasks.

Things to think about:

  • What applications for writing did the Instructor identify within the Building and Construction trade?
  • How does or could writing feature as a skill within your trade?

Knowing the language of your trade

A trade qualified Painting and Plastering Principal Instructor in a housing refurbishment yard speaks about preparing his prisoner learners for post-release employment in the Construction industry, including the achievement of National Certificates in Pre Trade Painting Level 2.

Key content:

  • The value of contexualising numeracy training to a trade
  • Getting beyond learners’ mental barriers
  • Developing learners’ confidence in their knowledge of their trade.

Things to think about:

  • How did the Instructor help his learners overcome their barriers to learning?
  • To what extent do you think the learners will be prepared for entry into a trade?

Framing success

A qualified Carpentry Instructor demonstrates how he introduces the importance of accurate measurement to his learners in the construction of their own certificate frames for the National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades Level 2.

Key content:

  • The importance of understanding and applying accurate measurement in carpentry
  • Developing essential skills through simple but memorable projects.

Things to think about:

  • How did the Instructor engage his learners up front in essential numeracy skills?
  • What small projects could you develop to grab your learners’ early attention?



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