Serco employee Richard Blake has won the prestigious Trainee of the Year title at the Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate business successes in the Lockyer Valley over the past 12 months. The Trainee category is open to all trainees in the local area.
Richard (pictured left) is currently employed as a Custodial Officer at Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC). Although he has only been working at the centre for just over a year, Richard’s life experience, background in youth justice, and passion to support positive change in the community by working with affected individuals has seen him excel in his role.
Reducing reoffending is one of SQCC’s key success indicators, and is promoted through Serco’s restorative justice framework and responsible prisoner model. Our programs promote respect, encourage positive behaviours, and allow prisoners to learn and take responsibility for managing their own circumstances. By challenging entrenched thinking patterns, Serco strives to help prisoners become responsible citizens.
The role proved a great fit for Richard, and he has excelled over the past year. After completing his mandatory training and gaining a Certificate III in Correctional Practice qualification, he has now expressed an interest in taking the next step to complete a Certificate IV in Correctional Practice, involving higher duties as an Accommodation or Operations Supervisor.
Supported by Training and Development Manager Jacob Simpson, Richard applied for the Trainee of the Year award. Jacob said that Richard was initially selected for the position of Custodial Officer due to his passion and ability to provide leadership, support and motivation to those around him.
“Since graduating, Richard has taken on one of the most challenging positions in the centre and in a short period of time has improved the consistency in which the unit inducts and supports new clients,” he said.
“This is a testament to the way Richard has applied himself to the role and to the continuous improvement and development of his operational skillset, work area and processes.”
“I believe Richard will make an excellent Correctional Supervisor and I see a real opportunity for him to promote positive change and influence those around him to do the same. I’m proud to have been involved in his development over the past 12 months.”
Assistant Director People and Culture Brendan Smith said Richard stood out from the moment he walked into the recruitment assessment centre. "His attitude and behaviour are exemplary," he said.
"He is a credit to his training and to our organisation. As a long term member of the Lockyer community, we're really proud of how well Richard embodies the Serco values – Trust, Care, Innovation and Pride – through his day-to-day work, and it's an honour to see the Lockyer Valley Regional Council recognise his achievement with this award."