Migrants arriving in Australia though come from all over the world. Whilst the main applicant on some visa types needs to prove a certain level of proficiency in the English language in order to lodge a successful application, not all do. Also, some of the immediate family and dependents of those main applicants can often arrive here without good English language skills.
Last time I looked, which was for 2015/16, India topped the list of source countries for migrants coming to Australia. China, Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal and Malaysia all made the top 10. None of these are English-speaking countries and therefore, as you can imagine, many people arriving here do not have a good command of the English language like what I do.
To embrace this country fully, to integrate with those around you, to enjoy your life in Australia to the max, speaking English is a priority. As AMEP say ‘Better English. Better life.’ But what is AMEP?
Adult Migrant English Program
AMEP is an Australian Government Department of Education and Training funded program that will help qualifying participants to learn English for free to help them settle confidently into life in Australia.
- Make new friends
- Improve your chances of getting a job
- Integrate more easily into Australian life
- Order food in a restaurant without pointing at the pictures in the menu
Well, I’m sure you can think of many other advantages, but I suspect what you really want to know is how you can take advantage of this free service yourself.
Study English for free
The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provides up to 510 hours of English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants. The program helps students learn foundation English language and settlement skills to enable them to participate socially and economically in Australian society.
Eligibility conditions apply; eligible new migrants must register for the program within six months of their visa being issued, so it’s important to do this as soon as possible after arriving in Australia.
Coverage is nationwide, please choose the closest location to where you will be or are living to find out the full details of how this will work.
TAFE Queensland: https://amep.tafeqld.edu.au/
New South Wales
Melbourne Polytechnic on behalf of Northern AMEP Consortium: http://www.northernamep.com.au/
North Metropolitan TAFE: https://central.wa.edu.au/amep/Pages/default.aspx
South Metropolitan TAFE: http://www.polytechnic.wa.edu.au/content/amep
Charles Darwin University: http://www.cdu.edu.au/cdu-vet/business-improvement/amep
TAFE South Australia: http://www.els.sa.edu.au/
Finally, here is a list of all the service providers and their locations across Australia:
I think this is a fantastic initiative, and I would like to thank Jackie McRae, Marketing and Communications Officer of TAFE Queensland English Language and Literacy Services, for bringing this to my attention.
I can tell you, if I didn’t already speak better proper English myself, I’d be having a go at this straightaway.
Here’s what others have to say about this program:
“I was a waiter for a couple of years in a fine dining restaurant. When I moved here from the Philippines, I was told about the English course through the Adult Migrant English Program and my teacher said there was a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery course I could do. The AMEP created a good pathway to where I am working now. I am thankful to the program.”
Jeszare Anteza, Rockhampton
“The AMEP has helped me a lot. I have met amazing teachers who have been able to help me in so many ways in terms of my career and understanding how to live in Australia. They have been like family and that has been very special.”
Kagyu Kowa, Ipswich
“When we moved here, I only knew basic words and phrases in English. I had a lot to learn. The program not only taught me the basics in the language but also introduced me to the culture we are living in here, as well as the traditions and history. I would tell new migrants to enjoy and make the most of the AMEP. Learn about the culture and the language because they are going to be the basics on which their future can be built. All I can say is to dream big and work hard to achieve it. Without the program, its teacher and fellow students I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Cintia Papp, Brisbane