Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

N.B. inmates training to be oil rig workers

N.B. inmates training to be oil rig workers
Last Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008
CBC News

Inmates at the Westmoreland Institution in New Brunswick are being provided with the chance to train to be oil workers.

The Dorchester-based minimum-security penitentiary is offering a 20-day course to teach inmates the basics of becoming a roughneck on an oil rig.

A similar program has also been offered to inmates who are on parole and has had a high success rate, said Isabelle Leblanc-Gallant, who is setting up the job training at the institution.

Eleven individuals completed the course offered to parolees and 10 have secured jobs, Leblanc-Gallant said.

"None of them have returned to the institution so that's a great return on our investment because the cost for incarcerating an individual in a minimum security institution for one year is about $82,000," she said.

Now inmates inside the prison will have the opportunity to take the course. The current program is training 12 inmates.

"We know that the oil and the drilling industries are crying out for people, skilled workers so we felt this was a great opportunity to provide skills to our offenders who are willing to work in the field to get stable, meaningful jobs," Leblanc-Gallant said.

The course, which concludes on July 26, will teach the students the basics of work on an onshore or offshore oil rig, Leblanc-Gallant said, and should help them secure jobs that pay up to $70,000 per year after they're released.

A good, steady job tends to be the best method of keeping offenders from returning to jail, she said.


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