The Correctional Services Department's (CSD) Industries and Vocational Training Building (I&VT Building) in Pik Uk Prison was officially opened today (January 6). The building provides prisoners with improved facilities for engaging in industrial work and for vocational training.
Situated in Sai Kung, Pik Uk Prison is a minimum-security institution for adult male prisoners. Renovation of the prison's original workshop built in 1985 started in April 2009. The new I&VT Building now provides more than 100 work posts in its carpentry & garment-making workshops and venues for about 60 training places for courses conducted by qualified staff and lecturers.
Courses include certificate in booth setting & decoration, laundry assistant, retail and shop operation as well as language and computer applications. Local male prisoners aged 21 or above with a remaining sentence of 24 months can apply for these courses on a voluntary basis.
The building will also be an authorised examination centre for the Intermediate Trade Test of Carpentry Joiner organised by the Construction Industry Council Training Academy.
Speaking at today's opening ceremony, the General Manager of CSD's Industries & Vocational Training (I&VT) Section, Mr Lo Huen, said that apart from providing productive work to inmates, the department enhances its rehabilitation services through providing comprehensive vocational training courses to them.
"These courses are market-oriented and lead to public accreditation, which helps improve inmates' employability and facilitates their reintegration into society after release," he said.
Mr Lo said the department had started to extend vocational training courses to institutions for adult offenders according to their resources, operational environment and inmate category.
The I&VT Section of the CSD was formed in February 2009 after a reorganisation of the Correctional Services Industries (CSI) which aimed at achieving better co-ordination with the provision of suitable rehabilitative services. "Established in 1978, CSI is a non-profit- making and cost-effective operation which provides government departments, funding agencies and non-profit charitable organisations with various products and services," Mr Lo said.
"CSI is, as required by law, responsible for providing meaningful work for the prisoners, so as to help maintain prison stability and help the department provide quality custodial and rehabilitative services.
Prisoners involved in industrial production have the opportunity to receive professional guidance to develop good working habits and a sense of responsibility, which is helpful to their reintegration into society after release. Industrial production therefore forms an important part of the department's comprehensive rehabilitative services," Mr Lo added.
Ends/Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:28
Commissioner of Correctional Services Mr Kwok Leung-ming (right) officiating at the plaque unveiling ceremony of the Industries and Vocational Training Building, which marks a milestone in the department's rehabilitation services.
Members of the Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders visit the carpentry workshop in the Industries and Vocational Training Building.