ACT offers subsidised training for people on bridging visas and temporary protection visas

The Refugee Council of Australia welcomes the announcement by the Australian Capital Territory government that it has extended eligibility for its Skilled Capital program and Australian Apprenticeships to people on bridging visas and temporary protection visas. As we have previously reported, these people are generally not able to access Commonwealth subsidies for further education, limiting their opportunities to contribute to Australia. The ACT is now the third State or Territory that has recognised the need for people on bridging visas and temporary protection visas to be able to access further education. The ACT’s announcement follows initiatives by New South Wales and Victoria. Importantly, the whole of the ACT has also been declared recently as a Safe Haven Enterprise Zone. The two programs offer training from Certificate II to Diploma level in many areas. The ACT’s Skilled Capital program offers a comprehensive range of services to provide support to complete the training that is right for them. The Australian Apprenticeships program…

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NSW Government applauded for education support for people seeking asylum

  We are delighted with the NSW Government’s decision to waive education fees for people seeking asylum. It will make a huge difference to many people as they start to rebuild their lives and become financially independent members of the community. The majority of people seeking asylum are currently living in the community while they wait for their applications to be processed and have work rights. But they often face barriers to entering the workforce. For those who need to develop new skills, many don’t have access to sufficient money to pay for the necessary training and education.While others may have been highly qualified in their homeland, such as engineers, nurses, accountants or doctors, but find their qualifications are not recognized in Australia. We understand a new advisory service will also become available to assist and guide them towards resuming their career. Not only will this new education program hasten entry into the workforce, it will also increase people’s self…

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Beginning a Life in Australia: a quick guide to settling in Australia

Looking for a comprehensive resource on settling in Australia in different languages? The Department of Social Services has updated its booklet, Beginning a Life in Australia (BaLIA). The booklet provides helpful settlement information, including links to other resources, for people who have recently come to Australia and people who are helping them. The booklet provides information on the following topics: What to do soon after arrival Get Help English Language Education and Training Employment Australian Law Housing Transport Health and Wellbeing Your Family Money Civic Participation The Department of Social Services is translating this booklet into many different languages. Check the link below to see if your language has been translated. You can also listen to the booklet in English.

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Settlement Guide: new podcasts by SBS Radio

SBS Australia has recently launched a weekly series of radio programs in the form of podcasts with helpful information on settling in Australia. These programs offer a wide range of information about everyday life and important information needed when settling into a community. The weekly ‘how to’ guide on setting up life in Australia is designed to assist multicultural communities to learn about life in Australia. The service is available for free in 30 different languages. For example, programs include: how to lodge your tax important information on how to rent or purchase property how to vote visa information information on youth employment healthcare information Australian culture such as sports and cultural celebrations how to apply for University and other education services, and police information. Why are these useful? These radio programs are useful for anyone looking for general information on life, culture, housing, education and many other things.  The programs have information from professionals on issues that affect life…

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How can we make higher education more accessible for refugees?

What do we know about the participation of refugees in university? And how can we make higher education more accessible for them? These are the questions addressed by a recent study by the University of Melbourne's Refugee Studies Program and Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Not There Yet: An Investigation into the Access and Participation of Students from Humanitarian Refugee Backgrounds in the Australian Higher Education System.
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Language training

Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) The AMEP is a program offering free English language tuition to migrants and humanitarian entrants who do not have functional English and funded by the Department of Immigration. Refugee and humanitarian entrants under the age of 25 with low levels of schooling are eligible for up to 910 hours of English classes. Humanitarian entrants over 25 years old are eligible for 610 hours. All other migrants are eligible for 510 hours. The AMEP offers a range of learning options – from full or part time study in formal classrooms or community settings or home study, either through Distance learning or through the Home Tutor Scheme. Click here for more information. AMEP Providers AMEP classes are delivered by service providers around Australia in over 250 locations. The Department of Social Service’s Settlement Services Locator is an online searchable database of SGP and AMEP services. For a full list of AMEP providers, click here. Eligibility and Time…

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Education and training

Refugee and humanitarian entrants are often keen to make up for lost time and take up the many and diverse opportunities provided by Australia’s education and training systems. Refugee young people in particular can be highly motivated and ambitious in their educational and career goals. Moving through Australia’s education and training systems, however, presents enormous challenges, especially for those who arrive with minimal or no English and who have had a very limited or different experience of education overseas. Learning English Considering the vital role that learning English plays in settlement, it is unsurprising that concerns about the flexibility, appropriateness, length of time and funding arrangements of on-arrival English language training are ongoing issues of concern for refugee communities. While the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provides refugee and humanitarian entrants with a starting point for learning English, attaining the level of spoken English and literacy needed to successfully move into mainstream education and training or into employment is often…

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English Language Services for refugees: Responding to the evaluation

An evaluation of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) was conducted by the Department of Industry by ACIL Allen Consulting. The Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) and Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) used this opportunity to have a focussed discussion on the provision of English language training and classes to refugees through the Settlement Policy Network (SPN).
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