Thu | Dec 2, 2021

12 inmates complete Level 2 NVQ-J certification in carpentry

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2021 | 12:19 AM
Staff officer Christopher Sinclair, along with inmates, completing a table-making project as part of the carpentry course.
Staff officer Christopher Sinclair, along with inmates, completing a table-making project as part of the carpentry course.

Twelve inmates from the Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre obtained their Level 2 certification in basic carpentry earlier this month after successfully completing the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) certification course with the HEART NSTA/Trust.

Basic carpentry is the first of a four-part course which includes masonry, tiling and painting. At the end of the course, the inmates who complete all four phases will receive NVQ-J certification in general construction Level 2.

The course, which is currently taught by staff officer, Christopher Sinclair, equips inmates to make cabinets, build work platforms, construct cubicles, install partitions, install sheetrock, hang doors, roofing as well as fundamental skills such as how to measure and cut, and how to calculate the bill of quantities for a project using mixed medium. As a bonus, the inmates are also taught how to draw, sketch and read building plans.

Before being enrolled in the programme, inmates must complete the basic literacy programme which includes reading, writing and arithmetic. The current cohort enrolled in the course are between 21 and 42 years old.

“The inmates are elated to be involved in the programme. They have the zeal to learn, as it gives them an opportunity to make a living for themselves and their families when they return to society. What we are giving them is certification recognised internationally, and they have the option to continue to levels three and four upon successful reintegration,” Sinclair said.

One inmate expressed that he was happy for the experience and committed to furthering his skills training when he is released. “I have learnt so much already,and I am eager to learn more. I will not be here for the second phase, and it is just a pity it is not a place where I could ask for an extension to finish up. However, I intend to complete the general construction certification when I leave because I know this will change my life.”

The second phase of the project, which includes certification in masonry, is scheduled to begin next month with 15 inmates. All four levels of the raining are slated to be completed by December, with future plans to include electrical installation levels 1 and 2.

The aim of the Department of Correctional Services is to provide inmates with skills and educational opportunities which will assist them, on release from the penal institution, to reintegrate into the society.