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New residents who have migrated to the Orana region from India and China are accessing a unique program to learn English, find employment and adapt to their new lifestyle.

TAFE NSW delivers the Adult English Migrant Program (AMEP) to migrants to assist with their transition to Australian life. The AMEP provides up to 510 hours of free English lessons and childcare to newly arrived eligible migrants and refugees.

For Chetna Parmar and more than 200,000 of new Australians who have migrated to Australia since 2016, the AMEP has been a lifeline.i

“I was a teacher and medical laboratory technician in India before I made the move. I was able to read and write in English, but I couldn’t speak fluently and understand when Australian people spoke to me. That’s why I chose to enrol in the AMEP at TAFE NSW Dubbo,” Ms Parmar said.

“TAFE NSW teachers are so encouraging and supportive. The AMEP gave me the confidence to face everyday challenges and create a better life for myself in Australia.”

While studying the AMEP, Ms Parmar actively applied for jobs with the assistance of her teacher and was successful in receiving a permanent position as a support worker working with children at Westhaven.

“I’d really recommend the AMEP to others in my position as my TAFE NSW class felt like one big family. Everyone supported each other, enjoyed each lesson and we have all had great success,” Ms Parmar said.

TAFE NSW Dubbo English for Speakers of Other Languages Teacher, Cindy Xu, said the AMEP program 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.

“Chetna is the perfect example of how the AMEP is helping to change the lives of many people by providing students with access to the skills to be job-ready.

The AMEP Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

To enquire about enrolling in the AMEP at TAFE NSW, phone 131 601 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.

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i Migrant Intake into Australia. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report. No.77, 13 April 2016.