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TAFE NSW is helping migrant women across Western Sydney settle into their community by offering fee-free courses to equip them with basic skills in fashion design, enabling students to get a foot in the door to an industry they love.
Migrant women across communities in Cabramatta, Campbelltown and Guildford are completing a TAFE NSW Statement of Attainment in Produce a Simple Garment delivered at their local community centre. The course gives them the ability to pathway into the Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology at TAFE NSW Lidcombe and Macquarie Fields.
Campbelltown resident, Thiekra Abdullah, fled to Australia from Iraq and has had a difficult time adjusting to life in a foreign country. The 53-year-old is half-way through the eight-week TAFE NSW course delivered at Focus Connect Campbelltown.
“The sewing classes have helped so much in giving me a circle of friends in the community who are in a similar position to me,” Thiekra said.
“Now when one of my four boys need a button sewn or to fix a hole in their pants, I have the skills to do it and I’m so proud of myself.”
Western Sydney plays a major role in the settlement of humanitarian arrivals in Australia. Up to three quarters of the humanitarian entrants that came to NSW in the last ten years settled in Greater Western Sydney. TAFE NSW is at the forefront of helping refugees and migrants connect to training pathways and employment pathways with initiatives such as sewing workshops.
TAFE NSW also offers English language skills in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) funded by the Australian Government, which provides up to 510 hours of free English lessons and childcare to eligible migrants and refugees. Students learn about Australian society, culture, customs and working in Australia.
TAFE NSW teacher in Fashion, Fiona Kemp, said the course has had a transformational change for the women participating.
“These women not only learn the hands-on skills to use a sewing machine and sew their own garment, but they have made friends and met more people in the community, which is something TAFE NSW is proud to help with.”
“The workshops are designed to give women a taste of the skills they’ll learn in the Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology fashion course and give them the confidence and experience of participating in a class environment,” Ms Kemp said.
To find out more about the range of fashion courses on offer at TAFE NSW, visit https://www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/fashion-and-textiles-courses or call 131 601.
Media Contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.