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Vocational Training - Prisoners Get 'Life'

People’s Daily reported on October 18 that 97.5 percent of prisoners in Shandong Province were awarded with vocational certificates this year by the Vocational Training Center for Prisoners, which was set up in 2002.


The various centers are equipped with training tools and facilities including computers and books.


One prisoner who recently obtained his national vocational certificate for machine mending commented that he feels his future is full of hope.


“Today I got this certificate and I mastered a craft. When I leave this place, I can support myself and I can live a new life. I feel very happy…” he said.


According to the report, Shandong Province offers about 40 vocational training courses for prisoners, including home appliance technology, IT, and machine mending. From 2000 to 2004, there have been 64,257 prisoners that obtained vocational certificates.


Under the guidance and supervision of the relevant government departments, special employment arrangements have been set up in some prisons. Prisoners can sign contracts in advance and start work shortly after their release.


According to statistics, since January this year more than 700 prisoners have signed labor contracts.


Mr. Guo, who completed his prison term in May with two vocational certificates of senior locksmith and special work operator, got a well-paid position in a private enterprise after he was released.


“Without these two certificates, I couldn't even have knocked on the ‘door’ of this enterprise,” he said with a proud smile on his face.


(China.org.cn by Wang Ke October 23, 2005)

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