Forrest launches $900k VTEC
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Andrew Forrest-led GenerationOne, in partnership with the federal government, has today launched an indigenous vocation training and employment centre at the Acacia Prison, with accommodation group Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation (EAC) appointed as the program operator.
The Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation Vocation Training and Employment Centre (EAC VTEC) will provide Indigenous jobseekers at the prison with job-specific training, a guaranteed position at the end and ongoing personal support to stay employed.
Serco is the prison operator.
The federal government has invested $872,000 in the program.
AEC currently operates the Ebenezer Home, which is a specialist homelessness service providing support and accommodation to young people.
The company has a refuge in Girrawheen for females and also provides transitional accommodation in Marangaroo and Nollamara.
“The VTEC program is changing lives across Australia but something we continue to hear from people with prison records is that they struggle to secure and sustain fulfilling employment,” he said.
“Applying the innovative VTEC model at Acacia will help many of the men there walk out of prison and into a job, and our mission is to support them to stay employed.
“The over-imprisonment and high re-offending rates for indigenous Australians are persistent barriers to employment. Further, the disparity between the number of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in prison remains inexcusably wide.”
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, who was at the launch, welcomed the opening.
“I have absolutely no doubt that this VTEC will be an important element in breaking the cycle of recidivism and re-offending that unfortunately too many of our First Australians experience when they don’t get the support they need,” he said.
“GenerationOne and Andrew Forrest in particular deserve to be acknowledged for their steadfast commitment to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians get quality training that leads to a real job."