Helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners into work

Thursday 12 October 2017

Media Release
  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister for Women
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Western Australia
  • Minister for Indigenous Affairs
  • Senator for Northern Territory

The Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest from organisations to deliver in-prison employment services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, today released the Request for Tender for the Time to Work Employment Service 2018–2021.

The Time to Work Employment Service is a direct response to recommendations made in the Prison to Work report, released by the Council of Australian Governments in 2016.

Statistics show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 13 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Government is committed to closing this gap and employment plays a critical role in breaking this cycle.

Time to Work Employment Service will better prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners to find employment, reintegrate into the community and minimise the likelihood of recidivism.

Successful organisations will demonstrate an understanding of the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners on their release to enable them to deliver culturally appropriate pre-employment services. Services are expected to commence in the first half of 2018.

The Department of Employment will be holding Request for Tender information sessions (webinars) on 18 and 19 October 2017. Interested organisations can register their interest at: Applications close at 12 noon (AEDT) on 6 November.

For more information, please visit, email or call 1300 733 514. A copy of COAG’s Prison to Work report can be found at:

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