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Asylum seekers can now access training

1 September 20160 comments

Thousands of asylum seekers and refugees in Victoria will now have access to local education and training programs across the state, under an initiative announced this week by the Victorian Government.

Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) program will be expanded to include asylum seekers with an injection of $15 million in funding over two years.

The funding will allow 3,000 asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders to undertake any of the 1,000 training programs provided by Victorian TAFEs and private training centres, with customised reading and writing programs.

Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the move would benefit Victorian employers and the state economy – as the training will get more people into the workforce.

Steve Herbert

Steve Herbert

Currently, the Victoria Government provides funding for around 300 eligible asylum seekers and exempts them from the usual citizenship criteria so they can undertake training each year.

Mr Herbert said customised language and literacy programs will be offered to participants to improve their reading and writing skills.

An Integrated VET Learning Plan will help them get real qualifications in the community where they live, he said.

Victoria is currently home to around 11,000 asylum seekers and refugees with temporary protection visas living in the community.

Many of this group will soon transition to new visas which require them to work and study so that they can apply for further substantive visas.

“People come here looking for a fair go – and we’ll do everything in our power to give it to them,” Mr Herbert said.

“We’re giving 3000 asylum seekers and refugees access to the training they need to get a proper job, to reach their ambitions and full potential so they can play a productive role in the Victorian workforce.”

Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist