Migrants will receive improved access to government-funded English language tuition following enhancements to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), which will help more migrants reach higher levels of English language proficiency.
The Immigration (Education) Amendment (Expanding Access to English Tuition) Act 2020 is a significant reform to the AMEP, and is part of the Australian Government’s three-part plan to make English tuition more accessible, facilitate better outcomes, and encourage greater participation.
These reforms take effect from 19 April 2021 and include:
- removing the 510 hour limit on a person’s entitlement to free English tuition;
- raising the standard of language proficiency migrants are encouraged to achieve in the program;
- removing time limits on registration, commencement and completion of tuition for eligible migrants who first arrived in Australia on or before 1 October 2020.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke said these are the most significant reforms to the AMEP in many years.
“These are substantial enhancements to the AMEP and represent the first in a series of reforms to the wider program that we are implementing to further strengthen social cohesion, and to ensure migrants are best positioned to reach their full potential in Australia.
“We know that English language skills are critical to every aspect of life in Australia. Migrants who can’t communicate face greater challenges settling into Australia, such as being limited as to their choice of job, and the ability to engage with other members of the Australian community.
“These enhancements provide more migrants with greater access to the AMEP, so that they can achieve a higher standard of English and thereby have the best chance of success in their new home,” Minister Hawke said.
Additional improvements include more flexible learning options, such as virtual classes that can be completed at a time convenient for students.
The AMEP, which is managed by the Department of Home Affairs, is delivered across 58 regions by 13 registered training organisations Australia-wide.
More information on the AMEP, including contact details for course providers, is available on the Department of Home Affairs website, www.homeaffairs.gov.au/amep.