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 enables employers to work with training providers to ensure training is appropriate for their business needs.
These programs are now available also to people holding the following visas:
- 449 Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa
- 785 Temporary Protection visa
- 786 Temporary Humanitarian Stay visa
- 790 Safe Haven Enterprise visa
- Refugees and asylum seekers who hold a Bridging Visa A,B, C or E.
- Criminal Justice Stay visa (Subclass ZB 951) holders who are victims of human trafficking and slavery.