Bringing service to life in immigration management
Controlling borders is a key task for governments. In Australia, we support the Department of Immigration and Citizenship through our contract to manage immigration centres throughout the country.
Unrest in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka has seen the number of people in our care surge to unprecedented levels. At the end of 2010, there were around 6,500 people in detention, more than four times the number when we began the contract. The five facilities we ran have expanded to 23.
Coping with this increase in demand for our services has required flexibility, innovation and plenty of hard work. We created a commissioning team, so we could react quickly when new facilities were opened, and called on the support of our Civil Government colleagues in the UK. This allowed our contract management team to concentrate on the smooth operation of all the centres.
The number of people we employ has also risen sharply, requiring us to spend more than A$1m on training. We have lived up to our commitment to employ local people, including more Indigenous Australians.
Working in the right way has always been a fundamental part of what we do, so we ensured that we did not compromise on our decency agenda - focusing on the dignity, respect and well-being of the people in our care. For example, every client is allocated a client support officer to look after their needs while they stay with us. We also provide activities such as English lessons, sport, art and living skills classes. Serco exceeds the contract's requirements for providing these activities and programmes.
We have received recognition from visitors for the transformation we have achieved, along with our humane approach, the constructive mood and the positive relationship between our employees and the people in our care.