READY TO GO: Your first look at Australia's largest jail
IT STARTED as a wide open piece of rural land, but now the site of the Clarence Correctional Centre looks like its own town.
General manager of the centre Glen Scholes said that all major building works have now been completed on site, with the centre on track for completion.
"Serco will commence their testing and commission phase in the coming months after construction is complete," he said.
The correctional centre, due to open in mid-2020 will be a 1,700 bed facility, the largest in Australia, and expected to create 600 jobs across a wide variety of job profiles.
Mr Scholes said the workforce had grown significantly after the new year with more than 90 permanent staff joined the workforce.
"There are currently 55 employees, including 21 Female Correctional Case Officers, going through their 10-week initial training course out on site," he said.
The centre has targeted positions for Aboriginal Correctional Case Officers and Aboriginal Correctional Staff with 12 open positions currently taking applications.
"Five Aboriginal Correctional Case Officers are currently undertaking their 10-week initial training course at the centre with a further four Aboriginal Correctional Case Officers joining the work force in March and April," Mr Scholes said.
Currently the John Holland team is working together with Serco's Facility Management team to check over the site in readiness to go live in the coming months.
Towards the end of 2019 Serco ASPAC CEO Mark Irwin and Serco plc Chairman, Sir Roy Gardner visited the centre taking the opportunity to spend time with members of our local business community.
Since the new year, Mr Scholes and Transitional Director Peter McIntosh met with local community and business groups to provide an overview of how the Clarence Correctional Centre will provide safe and secure custody to those entrusted into our care, protect the community and shared the reducing reoffending model to be used at the centre.
Serco is currently accepting applications for a variety of jobs at Clarence Correctional centre. and applications can be made through the website www.graftonserco.com.au
Construction of the centre began in 2017, with the project being built by consortium Northern Pathways, who comprise of Serco, John Laing, John Holland and Macquarie Capital at a cost of more than $700m.
They state that over the next twenty years the centre will bring $560m into the local economy with more than 1100 jobs created in the construction phase.