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Special funds to open up job market to Australians with overseas skill



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M I N I S T E R F O R

E m p l o y m e n t E d u c a t io n & T r a in in g T H E H O N . J O H N D A W K I N S M . P .

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SPECIAL FUND TO O P E N UP JO B MARKET TO AUSTRALIANS WITH OVERSEAS SKILL

Australian Universities will be helped to integrate skills bridging courses for migrants into mainstream study programs through a $1.2 million fund announced by John Dawkins in Canberra today.

Mr Dawkins, the Minister for Employment, Education and Training today launched the National Innovative Mainstreaming Funding, to be administered by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition.

"The NIMF is an important step in reforming our labour market by opening it up and making skills more mobile and applicable," Mr Dawkins said.

The mainstreaming of bridging courses for skills migrants will address a number of needs. It will link domestically oriented vocational education and training to national skill standards, allow overseas trained people regular access to skills upgrading without having to undertake complete retraining and it will offer

recognised local awards on successful completion of the courses.

"We can no longer afford the skills of Australians who gained their qualifications overseas to be wasted because of a program with skills recognition," said Mr Dawkins.

"By mainstreaming university bridging courses for skilled migrants", the Minister said, "we also make it easier for migrants to become more competitive in the job market".

NIMF funds for bridging courses are offered on top of existing higher education funding.

Courses funded under NIMF also offer income support to eligible participants.

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Mr Dawkins said that some NIMF funding has already been allocated to a few institutions, so that they could take advantage of the 1991 academ ic year. About 145 places in five bridging courses have been funded, including:

. 25 places at Griffith University for overseas trained primary school language teachers;

, 30 places at Flinders University of South Australia for Asian language teachers;

. 30 places in conjunction with the NSW Department of School Education for a mixed mode course for overseas trained mathematics teachers with the University of Western Sydney; ,

. 40 places for overseas trained nurses a t Flinders University of South Australia; and

. 20 places for overseas trained civil engineers at the University of NSW, but with the university commencing the course with an additional three participants over and above NIMF funded places.

"The Government sees NIMF as a significant step, assisting skilled migrants to participate more effectively in the Australian labour force, and to apply non-utilised and under-utilised skills.

NIMF, along with the other initiatives under the Government's Migrant Skills Reform Strategy is assisting in the construction of a more skilled - a more "clever" - Australia.

15 May, 1991

An Information kit on NIMF is available from NOOSR, and expressions of interest for NIMF funding for 1991 /92 are required by June 30, 1991.

Enquiries: (

Dr Judith Wintemitz Policy Development Section National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition

- 2 -

Tel: (06)276 7752