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TAFE NSW helps to upskill migrants in the kitchen and the classroom

TAFE NSW Kingswood

TAFE NSW helps to upskill migrants in the kitchen and the classroom

TAFE NSW is helping migrants in Western Sydney take their English skills to the next level while exploring new career pathways in hospitality, building skills for work and life.

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) sees 14 students undertake the nine-week Stepping Up Bakery Program, learning baking skills at TAFE NSW Kingswood’s specialist training facilities. The students, from Western Sydney’s migrant communities will gain valuable real-world expertise, while working on their English in a professional setting.

About one third of people living in the Greater Western Sydney region were born overseas, highlighting the demand for a program like this in the local community.

TAFE NSW and the Stepping Up Program provide a critical connection point to settlement communities, creating opportunities to build new skills, discuss learning opportunities, and share settlement experiences and their respective cultures.

TAFE NSW English language teacher, Lisa Li, is passionate about the program’s ability to provide pathways to migrants, who are looking to build a life in Australia.

"Making a home for yourself and your family in a new country can be difficult, especially when you don’t have a strong grasp on the language,” Lisa said.

“The TAFE NSW Stepping Up Program is a unique learning experience combining applied everyday English and professional baking skills in the one course.

“Students are effectively learning two practical skills at the same time, while growing their confidence and connecting with other migrants and local people at the same time.”

Students learn a range of bakery skills, from food prep to meeting regulatory hygiene and safety standards. The classes are delivered by a TAFE NSW trainer and supervised by Lisa, as the English language teacher.

One student, Mirwais, has been in Australia for six months and previously worked as a reporter in his home country of Afghanistan. Since commencing the Stepping Up Bakery Program, Mirwais is thankful for the opportunity to improve his technical English skills.

“The class has been great for me; I feel my confidence growing. I am used to speaking very well, and it is hard to learn a new language but I can feel myself getting better every day,” Mirwais said.

“I am grateful we can access this kind of training close to home. It has been good to meet other people with different backgrounds and share our cultures together.”

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. The Stepping Up Bakery Program has been running simultaneously in Ultimo and Orange as well. The Kingswood cohort has five weeks left, before they will complete the course and achieve a Statement of Attainment in Basic Baking.

Media contact: Catherine Johnston, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 0481 007 746.