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Baking bread has taken on a new meaning for Rania Shahoud, who once feared for her life walking to the shops to buy bread to feed her family in war torn Syria.
In 2018, Rania and her family migrated to Australia in search of a better life and settled in Western Sydney.
Rania enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW Bankstown so that she could learn English and re-launch her career in Australia and she has not looked back since landing her first job as a baker at St John Espresso in Glebe.
The Australian Government funds the AMEP English classes where eligible migrants and refugees are provided with up to 510 hours of fee-free lessons and childcare.
“Not only have I benefited professionally from the TAFE NSW AMEP program but personally as well, as I have made many good friends and increased my social network,” Rania said.
“My family sometimes suffered in Syria without electricity, water and gas. It was even a struggle to get bread and groceries on a daily basis so to be welcomed into the Australian community with help from the staff at AMEP has been a huge encouragement.”
South-west Sydney is playing a major role in the settlement of the current flow of humanitarian arrivals, ensuring the right services and supports are in place to help rebuild the lives of more than 13,750 refugees who settle in Australia each year as part of Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Program.
Rania worked as a civil engineer in Syria for more than five years and said the TAFE NSW Certificate II Spoken and Written English course she went on to study gave her the confidence to adapt to different jobs.
Rania secured employment as a baker through the Bread & Butter Project, which is a social enterprise bakery reinvesting its profits into training and employment pathways for refugees and asylum seekers since 2013. TAFE NSW is the training partner of The Bread & Butter Project.
“The support and positive reinforcement I have received all the way through my AMEP course from TAFE NSW staff and teachers has been exceptional.”
TAFE NSW AMEP Pathway Guidance Officer, Samira Ghabar, said the AMEP helps students learn vital skills that most of us take for granted.
“Learning how to open a bank account, access healthcare, find work and further study, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as learning about Australian society and culture, are just some of the everyday skills students learn.”
To enquire about the TAFE NSW Adult Migrant English Program visit tafensw.edu.au/amep or call 1800 114 707
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211