The Minister of Corrections is encouraging Christchurch employers to hire newly-released prisoners, saying it is a win-win situation.
The minister, Louise Upston, will host the second in a series of employer breakfasts in Christchurch tomorrow, highlighting the benefits of employing former offenders.
Ms Upston said prisoners could receive job education in prison and that would help reintegrate them into the community.
"We know there is a skills shortage and some employers are struggling to find skilled and motivated workers, so this is a win-win for all involved," Ms Upston said.
About 100 employers had already signed up to the initiative, with the first employer breakfast held in Hamilton last month.
Ms Upston said having a job was crucial to reducing reoffending.
"Some prisoners have never held down a job, yet we know that people who find stable employment on leaving prison are less likely to end up back in the justice system," she said.
Corrections employed tutors to educate almost 5000 prisoners in job-related programmes including construction, horticulture, hospitality, manufacturing and painting.
About 4600 offenders achieved their qualifications last year, which was a 25 percent increase from the previous year.