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Minister Stone officially opens Job Centre at Berrimah Prison.

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Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP

Minister for Workforce Participation 03 April, 2007

Media Release

Minister Stone officially opens Job Centre at Berrimah Prison

More early released prisoners will now be able to move straight into work thanks to a new Australian

Government initiative, the Minister for Workforce Participation, Dr Sharman Stone said today in Darwin.

Dr Stone will speak on behalf of the Australian Government at the official opening of the Job Centre at Darwin

Correctional Centre at Berrimah Prison.

Federal Member for Solomon, David Tollner will also be present.

This Job Centre helps pre-release prisoners secure work prior to leaving prison by linking them with their

local Job Network provider who then assists them with up-skilling, job searching and training. Intensive

support will also be available for prisoners who need it.

The centre will be the place where prisoners are assisted with writing job applications and resumes or

undertake pre-work training.

“I once worked for the Victorian Office of Corrections and so I know how hard it is for ex-offenders to step into

work, even in a booming economy,” Minister Stone said. In the Northern Territory alone, are over 2,300 ex-prisoners on welfare, and looking for work.

“A prison record, a gap in a person’s employment history and any shortfalls in qualifications or education can

all be considerable barriers when looking for a job, with extra support and with employers willing to give

someone a chance we can turn around the lives of ex-offenders.

“Typically more than 60 per cent of ex-prisoners re-offend and return to prison within two years. Research

shows that ex-offenders who are able to obtain employment during pre-release or soon after leaving prison,

are far less likely to re-offend.”

“The Australian Government wants to boost the employment rate of people leaving prison. We want all job

seekers to succeed in getting work, finding accommodation and being able to step back as a breadwinner in

their family,” Minister Stone said.

Dr Stone will speak to the official opening of the Job Centre at the Darwin Correctional Centre at 11.15am at

Berrimah Prison - Livingskills Unit, Low Security area, Tivendale Road, Darwin

For further information contact:

Liz Rodway 0421 587 207

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