Riverina TAFE is running migrant-specific courses in a bid to improve
the employment prospects of the region's growing number of
The courses combine English language classes with vocational
training, thereby addressing the common dilemma that many migrants
experience of not being able to speak English. This is often a major
obstacle towards gaining employment.
Currently a class of 15 men from various countries in Africa and Asia
are participating in a nine-week Construction Essentials course at
"In the past we've run a few vocational courses that were
targeted at women, and we thought we needed to do something that's
aimed at men," said Elizabeth Stott, Riverina TAFE's education
pathways head teacher. "They really want to get work but they
haven't got any experience in Australia."
However, some of the men did have experience in building and tiling
in their home countries.
"We're hoping that the (Construction Essentials) course is a
starting point that could lead to apprenticeships or employment for
some of the students," Ms Stott said. "They're very hard
workers."Riverina TAFE has already offered courses that were
aimed at migrants with limited English language skills, which have
proven to be extremely popular. These included courses in hospitality,
children's services, panel and paint and horticulture.