Changes to AMEP
New draft instructions have been issued to organisations that provide the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has written a letter in response, with the Federation for Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA). The letter was sent to the Minister for Education and Training, and the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills.
We have welcomed the additional 490 hours provided to eligible students. However, we remain concerned about several aspects of the program.
- The absence of minimum qualifications for teaching in the new Social Stream
- The lack of use of bicultural workers
- The requirement that students with mutual obligation requirements with Centrelink must be enrolled in the pre-employment stream
- The doubling of class sizes under the Special Preparatory Programme (SPP)
- The reduction of funding for the Settlement Language Pathways to Employment/Training Course
- The removal of funding for counsellors
- The adequacy of the funding for child care
- The need for adequate safeguards in work experience programs to prevent exploitation
- The need to retain the AMEP’s objective as a settlement program, and
- The need to provide access to AMEP for people seeking asylum.