REGION - Victoria's prison expansion program is driving a jobs boom in the Grampians region, with recruitment about to begin for more than 100 new prison officers and other positions to operate newly expanded facilities in the region.
An additional 400 new beds will be established at two Grampians region correctional facilities, the Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat) and Langi Kal Kal Prison (Trawalla).
A further 15 beds will be created at the transitional facility Corella Place (Ararat).
A major construction program at Hopkins Correctional Centre is currently underway. This will almost double the prison's capacity to 732 prisoners and will also provide eight beds for continued detention.
Langi Kal Kal Prison is also growing, with a 42-bed expansion currently underway
A further $3 million extension to Corella Place - a transitional facility for sex offenders placed on continued supervision orders by the court - was also announced recently.
Corella Place, originally constructed to accommodate 40 residents, will expand to accommodate a further 15 residents.
The expansion projects are providing a significant boost to the Grampians region economy and local employment opportunities.
With expansion projects nearing completion, recruitment is now underway to staff the facilities.
Department of Justice Regional Director for Grampians Region Catherine Darbyshire said that the department is recruiting for custodial roles working with prisoners, as well as roles in finance, industries, kitchen and catering, specialist case management and Indigenous support. Recruitment activities will continue into 2014.
"We are looking for people with sound communication skills and life experience, as well as individuals with experience in trades and services to work in our prison industries," Ms Darbyshire said.
"There will be both ongoing positions and casual roles. Flexible rosters allow family-friendly work and are good for people with other commitments like farmers.
"Our staff love working in prisons - they are certainly challenging environments. Many staff say they never thought they'd find themselves working in a prison, and now wouldn't work anywhere else.
"These are great roles with good working conditions, a positive culture and a supportive environment."
Department of Justice employees are provided with ongoing professional development and training, access to employee assistance programs and recreation facilities.
Interested locals have been given the opportunity to meet and ask questions of local correctional staff at Beaufort, Avoca and most recently Stawell last night.
There will be a further information session in Maryborough tonight and Ararat tomorrow night from 6pm followed by a session in Ballarat on Thursday night.
A location for the information session in Ararat will be determined once the number of people who have completed registration is finalised.
The information sessions are to provide people with an opportunity to hear from experienced prison staff and ask questions.
Each session includes an overview of Corrections Victoria, the recruitment process for prison officers, career paths in the Department of Justice, current prison officers talking about their role and backgrounds prior to joining the department and a question and answer session.
Attendance is optional and there is no obligation to proceed with an application if you attend.
The information sessions are beneficial if you have already applied online, are considering applying, or would like to support someone in their decision to apply.
To register your interest, you need to contact 1300 304 128 or go to cvcareers.com.au/prison-officers/apply-now/info-sessions