A pilot program in Kamloops has graduated six provincial prison inmates, qualifying them to work as construction labourers when they are released.
Students learn skills such as operating and maintaining small tools, scaffolding, reading blueprints, surveying, operating a mini-excavator and traffic control. They also receive level one first aid and construction safety training certification during a six-week course.
The program is offered by Thompson Rivers University for inmates at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre. Inmates built a concrete foundation pad with drainage and roof that will house a portable sawmill.
The level one apprenticeship credential and 4,000 work hours in a trade make them eligible for level two, when students can enrol in a Red Seal trade program such as carpentry or plumbing.