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Detention Custody Officer

Job Req ID:  66201
Posting Start Date: 

Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Contract Type:  Full Time
Job Description: 

At Serco, not only is the nature of the work we do important, everyone has an important role to play, from caring for vulnerable people to managing complex public services.  We are a team of 50,000 people responsible for delivering essential public services around the world in areas including defence, transport, justice, immigration, healthcare and citizen services. We are innovators, committed to redesigning and improving public services for the benefit of everyone.



Detention Custody Officer [DCO]

Yarl's Wood IRC, Bedfordshire MK44 2FQ

Full time, 42 hours per week - Permanent

£19,842 per annum, rising to £24,116 after 3 years + Benefits


Here at Serco we’re looking for Detention Custody Officers to join our close knit and supportive team at Yarl’s Wood Immigration and Removal Centre. In this role you’ll make a real and genuine difference to the lives of women and family groups as they prepare for release and resettlement.

Yarl’s Wood is a unique residential centre because of the demographic of those we care for. It can be an important and often stressful point in residents’ lives, so you’ll be at the forefront of ensuring that the arrival process is as worry-free as possible and that they continue to access the support they need throughout their detention. This covers a range of on-site services we offer that you’ll help to supervise and promote, including healthcare, welfare, faith and cultural provisions, educational, recreational, and employment.

The centre is open 24/7, meaning you will have to cover various shift patterns; including days, evenings, weekends, nights and bank holidays. You’ll always be supported by our exceptional team however and all new starters receive a 7-week Initial Training Course where you will shadow experienced DCO’s on shift to give you a real taste of life on the job. 

What you need to do the role

Our people come to us from a variety of backgrounds but what they do have in common is an ability to relate to people, natural communication skills, patience, and a commitment to making a difference to the lives of others. All things you’ll be able to display yourself.

As a DCO you’ll need a good level of basic fitness, which is something that will be tested during the application process. You’ll also need to a hold a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills (or equivalent) in English and Maths, which is something else that we test.

Why Serco

Meaningful and vital work: Yarl’s Wood is focused on decency and respect in all aspects of care for residents, which is delivered at a critical time in their lives. Detention Custody Officers are at the centre of this.

A world of opportunity: Our diverse UK-wide operations offer unrivalled opportunities to learn and develop. You’ll be able to broaden your experience and apply your skills in new ways.

Great people: As well as care for residents we also care for and support one another. We are a motivated team who will encourage you and help you to succeed.


What else do I need to know?


  • This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and all offers of employment are subject to security clearance checks and approval by the Home Office.


  • We welcome applications from everyone however as the majority of our residents are female we actively encourage applications from members of this particular group.


  • Once you have passed the selection and vetting process you will attend a 7 week Initial Training Course (ITC) at the centre that requires 100% attendance in order to pass.


What we offer

  • 10 day pa CPD
  • Pension – 6%
  • Bike4Work scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • A company passionate about diversity and inclusion
  • Serco Benefits package



Please click on the apply button to be taken to our careers website.

We’re a Disability Confident employer and are committed to equal opportunities. If you have any additional queries, requirements or you need more time to apply, then please contact our recruitment team directly on 0345 010 4000. Disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at an interview.






On occasion we receive significantly more applicants than expected for some vacancies and under such circumstances we reserve the right to bring forward the closing date of the advertisement. We therefore strongly advise you to apply for the role promptly to avoid disappointment should the closing date be brought forward. Serco is a Disability Confident Employer committed to employing and retaining people with disabilities.  Disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at an interview. For help with your application please contact 0345 010 4000.

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