Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: Second Chance Jobs

Ministers statements: Second Chance Jobs

Enver ERDOGAN (Northern Metropolitan – Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support) (12:13): I rise to update the house on the good work happening across our corrections system in Victoria to ensure people are kept safe and they can turn their lives around. We know that having a job is essential to supporting people to stay out of prison and reconnect with communities and family. Having meaningful work is important to all of us. It increases our self-worth, enables us to support our families, keeps us connected to people around us and can provide confidence and dignity. That is why I am pleased to speak about Second Chance Jobs.

Vacro and Corrections Victoria are partnering to get people into work as soon as they are released, and I thank them for their efforts. For over 150 years Vacro have been supporting people in the criminal justice system and their families to turn their lives around. Second Chance Jobs helps people become job ready by providing vocational training while they are in custody. That support extends into the community by working with employers to provide job opportunities for people exiting prison. People are provided with assistance for up to a year after they leave prison, because we know that that is the time when they need the most support to help give them the best chance of not reoffending. Employers are lining up to take part in Second Chance Jobs. There are now more than 40 employers signed up to offer jobs to participants.

Not only does the program forecast a net benefit of over $30 million per year; it is giving people in the criminal justice system a second chance of finding meaningful employment upon release. Keeping the community safe is not just about what happens inside prison; it is about giving people the right support to break the cycle of offending and stay out of prison, which is exactly what this program does and what employment provides.