'This second chance has helped me support my family' - scheme aims to get offenders into work

Corrections are pushing to get offenders into the workforce and give them a second chance at life.

It's holding recruitment drives, with the aim to get more ex-criminals into jobs.

For Ben, it's already making a huge difference - he previously has convictions for arson, assault and drink driving and believes if it wasn't for his new job, he'd be in prison now.

"This second chance has helped me a lot to support my family,"

"You could end up changing someone's life."

He's supporting six kids thanks to his new role working on major roading projects around the Wellington region, including the new Kapiti expressway.

His employers at Goodman Contractors call him a success story and are putting their hands up for more workers.

"Corrections brought us someone who really wanted to work, really wanted a second chance, had some skills and really showed he was motivated from the get-go," Ruth Surrey said.

"He was really honest about his background, which was important to us."

The push to get more offenders into the workforce is about reducing re-offending and giving offenders a second chance, Corrections CEO Ray Smith said.

"A lot of people who have come out of prison will be quite shy or embarrassed about what's happened and as long as they've owned what's gone on and they've made the effort to rehabilitate themselves while they are in prison, I reckon you've got to give them a go," he said.

"Because they've all got families and kids and people who care about them and need them to succeed."

There are currently 423 former offenders in the scheme, trying to make a change to their lives.

It's holding recruitment drives, with the aim of getting more ex-criminals into jobs. Source: 1 NEWS