The government's Budget 2020 initiative to expand skills training in prisons, in line with national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) standards, has been well received by former prisoners.
The RM20 million training allocation, which was part of the budget tabled on Friday, will include training in food and beverage, carpentry and welding, as well as laundry services.
An ex-inmate at Marang prison, known as Zack (not his real name) said the food and beverage training he received at the prison, enabled him to secure employment as a cook at a restaurant owned by a friend, one month after his release which took place at the end of last year.
While in prison, he and his fellow inmates were given the opportunity to prepare breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner for prisoners, under the guidance of the Marang health department, the 45-year-old told Bernama today.
Another former inmate from the same prison, known by the alias Johari, 32, expressed the hope that with the training allocation, prison authorities would be able to purchase more training equipment and materials, as he recalled there were times when the carpentry course he attended in prison, experienced a shortage of such items.
"Most of the materials were bought at the start of the year... sometimes, they would be used up before six months had passed," he said.
Having served time for four years, Johari now works as a carpenter at a furniture factory in Kuala Terengganu.