The Corrections Department says getting former prisoners involved in the rebuilding of Christchurch following the earthquakes will help reduce reoffending.
Christchurch Prison held an open day on Saturday in which prospective employers were shown how inmates are being trained in vocations such as plumbing, mechanical work and painting to prepare them for life on the outside.
Corrections rehabilitation and reintegration manager Alison Thom says an increase in demand for tradespeople in Christchurch has given prisoners with training a better chance of employment.
Ms Thom says being in work is a significant factor in preventing people from reoffending.
Regional manager of prison services Ian Bourke says a recent partnership with Christchurch Polytechnic is giving prisoners nationally-recognised trade qualifications.
Mr Bourke says about half released prisoners reoffend and he hopes that figure will fall.