Changes to AMEP: Access to English Tuition

Changes to AMEP:  Access to English TuitionEnglish proficiency plays a central role in determining the successful integration of migrants into Australian society and is a key factor associated with education and employment outcomes. By providing measures for supporting migrants with low English proficiency to learn the national language, this action will facilitate social cohesion and national unity. The AMEP program will be changed and expanded access to the program will commence on April 19, 2021.


These reforms are supported by the Immigration (Education) Amendment (Expanding Access to English Tuition) Act 2020​ which

  • removes the previous 510 hour limit on free English tuition
  • extends eligibility from functional English to vocational English and
  • removes the time limits for registering, commencing and completing English tuition for eligible visa holders and citizens in Australia on or before 1 October 2020

This is the most significant reform to the program in many years. These changes mean that more migrants will be able to access free English tuition for longer and until they reach a higher level of proficiency.

The start date for these changes is 19 April 2021.

English proficiency plays a central role in determining the successful integration of migrants into Australian society and is a key factor associated with education and employment outcomes. By providing measures for supporting migrants with low English proficiency to learn the national language, this action will facilitate social cohesion and national unity.

It will also boost the future employment and education prospects of migrants who participate in English tuition. Increasing access to the English language program will also be a key enabler for the Government’s critical priorities in light of the economic challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nationalities of migrants entering Australia has changed dramatically over recent decades. There has been a measurable increase in migration from countries with languages that are more linguistically distant from English. Learning English for Mandarin or Arabic speakers requires a greater time commitment and effort than for those who speak Italian or Greek.

Expanding access to English tuition recognises that learning a language is a complex task, and that a one size fits all approach is not appropriate. The nature of the Australian economy has also changed. There are vastly fewer lower skilled jobs in the Australian economy than in the post war period, when this English language program for migrants commenced.

Even lower-skilled jobs now require higher levels of English to manage the health and safety requirements of Australian workplaces. Higher levels of English are also required for vocational training. The changes made to this English language program will send a strong message regarding the support provided by the Government for migrants to learn Australia’s national language, and the importance of English proficiency for social cohesion.

 

Changes to AMEP:  Access to English Tuition
The AMEP program will be changed and expanded access to the program will commence on April 19, 2021.

 


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