Second chance to get it right

All he wants is a second chance.

Skills changing lives

Meet 23-year-old Michael (not his real name).

''People need to start giving young guys chances who have buggered up in the past and who have learnt their lesson,'' he told the Otago Daily Times recently.

He recently completed six months of home detention, which he conceded was ''better than going to jail''.

Michael was given time out from home detention to complete several courses, including forklift driving, scaffolding, and first aid.

He had work references and was particularly interested in forklift driving, and when asked if he was actively looking for work, he replied ''desperately''.

''I will do anything, anything possible.

''As soon as I got sentenced I put all that stuff behind me.''

Benji - not his real name - said he had been on community detention following a string of vehicle-related offences.

The 24-year-old completed the forklift course ''to clear some hours and it was a good opportunity to get something positive out of it''.

He had been working for the past three months as a forklift operator and was enjoying working fulltime again.

''It is good really ... get to put more food on the table,'' he said.

He also added that fulltime employment meant ''I am not so bored any more''.

''It tires me out for the night, and I am not out doing anything stupid any more.''

• Otago Community Corrections training project leader Sherie Lucke noted: ''Their offending is not who they are.

''They want to put their offending behind them. They now need the support of the community to make a new start.''

People interested in offering employment can contact Mrs Lucke at Dunedin Community Corrections on (03) 470-3770.

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