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Thursday, September 29, 2022

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Prison Officers And Inmates Successfully Complete ‘My Business Programme’

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A third batch of three Prison Officers and 21 inmates, who have successfully completed the ‘My Business Programme’, received their certificate of attendance, on Thursday, at the Prison Training School in Beau Bassin. This entrepreneurship training initiative offered by SME Mauritius, in the context of the Social Reinsertion and Inclusion Programme for detainees, aims at enabling inmates to set up their own businesses once they are released.

The 24 Awardees, from Beau Bassin and Petit Verger prisons, completed a 12-week academic training in management, business plan, accounting, marketing, and human resources, among others.

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius, Mr Ravin Rampersad, the Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jaganaden Rungadoo, and other personalities were present at the ceremony.

In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that the training provided to inmates a positive and optimistic way to think about the future, and encouraged them to work hard to achieve their goal. This training programme, he emphasised, is part of various efforts to combat recidivism, as the skills learnt by the inmates will help them set up their business and not rely on post-release employment, which often is difficult to get after incarceration.

The Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jaganaden Rungadoo
The Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jaganaden Rungadoo

The Minister further underlined that an entrepreneur can nowadays receive funding and other facilities from SME Mauritius so as to start a business provided a good business plan is devised. He announced that an MoU will soon be signed between SME Mauritius and the Mauritius Prison Service in order to offer necessary support and knowledge to detainees so that they are well-equipped to launch their own business once they are released.

For his part, Mr Rampersad recalled that the ‘My Business Programme’ was launched some two years back and has yielded good results. He also stressed on the need to provide adequate support to the detainees so that they can contribute to the progress of society in the future. SME Mauritius, he added, can help when required by former inmates so that they can further develop their business.

As for Mr Rungadoo, he pointed out that the Mauritius Prison Service has put in place several programmes in collaboration with institutions such as the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development and SME Mauritius for the rehabilitation of detainees. Some of the fields in which detainees receive training include pastry, welding, garment making and wood trades, he informed.

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