The Council of Europe and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in co-operation with the "Legal Education and Rehabilitation Program’s Implementation Center" SNCO have opened the first of its kind "Professional Training Centre" for probation beneficiaries in Ararat region of Armenia on 17 November 2022.
Grigor Minasyan, Acting Minister of Justice of the RA; Martina Schmidt, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan; Gevorg Simonyan, Head of the Probation Service of the MoJ of the RA; and Dzonik Margaryan, Director of the “Legal Education and Rehabilitation Programs’ Implementation Centre” SNCO, and other high-level speakers took part in the opening ceremony.
Martina Schmidt expressed her gratitude to the team in the Ministry of Justice and the Probation Service, the Deputy Minister Arpine Sargsyan and Head of Probation Service Gevorg Simonyan for the productive work on the project. “I am really impressed to see the opportunities that this centre will provide to the probation beneficiaries. This is a very important step towards Armenia’s new plan of transition from punitive policy to restorative justice in the field of criminal justice, in which the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society is an indispensable component”, said the Head of the Council of Europe Office.
Grigor Minasyan emphasized the importance of the centre, as it will enable probation beneficiaries to reintegrate into society, acquire a new profession and find a job. "This is a pilot project. We aim to have such centres in other regions of Armenia as well. In the course of initial conversations with the beneficiaries of the probation, the four professions that are in high demand in today’s labour market were selected."
Gevorg Simonyan, the Head of the Probation Service, presented the new centre, the acquired new facility where each year 30 beneficiaries of the probation services will have the opportunity to learn a new profession and apply their knowledge in practice.
Qualified professionals will deliver courses on such topics as "Furniture making basics", "Sewing basics", "Cosmetology skills" and "Hairdressing skills" in classrooms equipped with professional tools and equipment provided under the Council of Europe project "Support the scaling up of the Probation service in Armenia” in the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022.