Inmates construct new lives through TAFE Western Connect



TAFE Western Connect continues to drive positive results, with a small group of Broken Hill Correctional Centre inmates successfully completing a Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operation*.

The inmates attended the course at the prison, learning how to operate a loader, excavator and skid steer. They also gained important skills which will help them successfully use a pump, generators, power tools and hand tools.

TAFE Western Earthworks head teacher Lindsay Griffith said TAFE Western Connect provided flexible study options for students and in this instance, prepared the inmates for life outside of prison.

“An inmate who has recently been released from Broken Hill Correctional Centre has started driving earthmoving equipment in Sydney, while another two inmates who completed the course have since been offered work release with a local construction company,” Mr Griffith said.

“It’s fantastic that through TAFE Western Connect we’ve been able to provide these inmates with important skills they need to find a job and advance their careers.”

TAFE teacher Marty Havercroft said as part of the course, participants laid concrete pavers, installed two park benches and built a retaining wall at the prison.

“This was the first time I have taught a group with a 100 per cent attendance rate, proving how dedicated this group was and how much they enjoyed the course,” he said.

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) staff played a vital role in the success of the course, with overseer Gary Dickson impressed with the transformation of participants.

“The inmates arrived at work each day with a new enthusiasm,” he said.

Senior CSNSW education officer Nicki Levi and literacy/numeracy teacher Kim Vodic, who helped deliver the theoretical components of the course, also noticed the inmates tackle their work with renewed skill and vigor.

“After the completion of the course, each of them has developed a new sense of themselves as capable learners and competent workers,” Mr Vodic said.

For further information about TAFE Western Connect, visit

* RII30813 Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operation; TAFE NSW Western Institute Registered Training Organisation 90009.