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$90m contracts for Adult English Migrant Program in Victoria



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M e d i aThe Hon. Philip Ruddock MRMinister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs 55 R e l e a s eParliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Telephone: (02) 6 27 7 7 86 0 Facsimile: (02) 6 27 3 4144MRS 116/97$90m CONTRACTS FOR ADULT MIGRANT ENGLISH PROGRAM IN VICTO RIAThe Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, today announced the awarding of contracts worth a total of $90 million for the delivery of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) in Victoria for the next five years.The contracts between the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and a consortium led by Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) Victoria, are the first to be signed under new service delivery arrangements for the AMEP.Speaking at the contract signing, Mr Ruddock said the occasion was "a landmark development" in the 50-year history of the AMEP."For the first time, we have tendered the AMEP on the open training market, to ensure that the best possible learning opportunities are available for newly-arrived migrants and refugees," Mr Ruddock said.'The signing of contracts today realises the Government's pre-election commitment to improve the flexibility and effectiveness of the AMEP, while achieving best value for money.'Tendering in Victoria will see classes made available in locations where we know our clients live and work, while enabling them the freedom to study in their preferred ' location," Mr Ruddock said.Under the new arrangements, the eight members of the consortium will deliver the AMEP across five geographic regions (see attachment).While maintaining the program's long association with AMES, five new tuition providers have been introduced: Swinburne University of Technology, Holmesglen Institute of TAPE, La Trobe University, Kangan Batman TAPE and Goulbum Ovens Institute of TAPE.Child care will be delivered through the remaining consortium members, Young Women's Christian Association and Free Kindergarten Association.In addition, each consortium includes innovative partnership arrangements with a range of community agencies such as Migrant Resource Centres, neighbourhood houses and ethnic organisations.To ensure maximum flexibility, a community liaison officer, appointed in each region, will help identify the individual needs of potential clients, ensuring the service best addresses those needs.The new delivery arrangements will take effect in Victoria in January 1998.13 November 1997Media inquiries: Minister's Office — Steve Ingram 0419 278 715DIMA — David Doherty (02) 6264 2993COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARYInformation on A ustralian immigration matters is available through the Internet o n : http://www.immi.gov.au.

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A TTA C H M EN T

SU C C ESSFUL TEN D ER ER S

The five regional contracts will be delivered by the following organisations:

• Y arra AMEP (Central Victorian region) — A M E S Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, Young Women's Christian Association Melbourne (YW CA), Free Kindergarten Association (FKA);

• Southern Cross A M EP (Southern region) — A M ES Victoria, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, YW C A, FKA;

• Northern Language Services (Northern Region) — A M E S Victoria, La Trobe University, Kangan Batman TAFE, YW CA, FKA;

• Y arra Goulbum AMEP (Eastern region) — A M E S Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, Goulbum Ovens Institute of TAFE, YW C A , FKA; and

• M aribym ong A M EP (W estern region) — A M E S Victoria, Kangan Batman TAFE, YW C A , FKA.

FACT SHEET

DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

71. ENGLISH LANGUAGE TUITION FOR ADULT MIGRANTS As part of a range of settlement services for newly-arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants, the Australian Government provides

basic English language tuition for adult migrants.

The tuition is available to adult migrants for whom English is not the first language, and who have been assessed by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) as

not having functional English language skills.

The tuition is administered by DIMA through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Adult Migrant English Program

DIMA funds organisations in each State and Territory to provide AMEP courses.

In 1996-97, 43,200 adult migrants were assisted through the AMEP at a cost of $75.6m. In 1997­ 98, $94.5m has been allocated.

Several learning arrangements operate under the AMEP, including formal courses through teaching centres in metropolitan and major regional centres, and distance learning arrangements throughout Australia.

Informal tuition is also available through the Home Tutor Scheme, which uses trained volunteers in major cities and non-metropolitan areas, and through self-paced learning in

Individual Learning Centres. ,

Eligibility

The tuition is open to newly-arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants from overseas, and to people already in Australia who are changing

from temporary to permanent resident status.

If they are assessed as not having functional English, they are entitled to 510 hours of tuition, or the number of hours it takes to reach functional English - whichever comes first. In some circumstances, additional tuition may be provided.

They need to register for their entitlement within three months of arrival or grant of permanent residence, start tuition within one year, and complete tuition within three years.

Deferrals may be authorised in some circumstances.

People who arrived in Australia as permanent residents before 1 July 1991 are not eligible for the AMEP.

English language assessment

To assess the English language ability of a prospective migrant, the Department may ask applicants to sit an English test.

The Australian Assessment of Communicative English Skills test - known as the ACCESS test - is the preferred test for migration purposes and is available worldwide.

The Department also recognises the International English Language Testing System test.

For some health professionals, there is an occupation-specific test, the Occupational English Test. This is administered by Languages Australia.

Test results are used for a number of purposes. For example to decide:

. whether applicants have functional English proficiency;1

. the level of points for language skills to be awarded in the Independent and Skilled - Australian Linked categories;

. whether Independent and Skilled - Australian Linked applicants have vocational English proficiency if their occupation is on the Occupations Requiring English list.

Other English tuition

The Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) provides English language tuition for employment related purposes.

Migrants can obtain information about these programs from the nearest Centrelink office.

Charges/fees

Charges for incoming migrants who applied to migrate on or after 1 January 1993, and who are assessed as not having functional English, are on a sliding scale based on their migration category. The charge must be paid before the visa is granted.

1 Applicants without functional English are required to p a y a charge before their visa can be granted. This charge is payable as a second instalment o f the Visa Application Charge.

Adults migrating through the Family Stream and the refugee and humanitarian categories are exempt from the charge, as are people who become permanent residents within Australia by changing their migration status.

An annual administrative fee of $275 applies to migrants who arrived after 1 July 1991 and who are not covered by the above charge. Those taking part in informal tuition such as the Home Tutor Scheme or attending Individual Learning

Centres are generally required to pay a placement fee of $60.

Migrants may be exempted from the annual administrative fee and the placement fee if they are holders of certain health concession cards or

a letter from the Commonwealth Employment Service stating they are unemployed and have registered as job seekers.

Information on Australian Immigration issues Is also available on the Department's Internet home page: http://www.immi.gov.au

The Department also operates a telephone inquiry line on 131 881 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Australia.

Fact Sheet 71. Produced by the Public Affairs Section, Department of Immigration & Multicultural Affairs. Revised 5 November 1997.

Second instalment charges

Visa class Visa Principal Spouse/each

Subclass applicant adult dependent

AD 127-131 Business skills (migrant) $4470 , $2235

AJ 105 Skilled - Australian Linked $2235* $2235

AL 124-125 Distinguished talent (migrant) $2235 $2235

AN 121 Employer nomination (migrant)** $4470 $2235

AP 152 Family of NZ citizen (migrant) $2235 $2235

AQ 150 Former citizen (migrant) $2235 $2235 '

AR 151 Former resident (migrant) $2235 $2235

AT 126 Independent (migrant) $2235 $2235

AU 120 Labour agreement (migrant) $4470 $2235

•Excluding 106 subclass visa holders **FYr.lnrlinn relininus w o rk e rs

Note: People in Australia seeking to change their migration status after 1 January 1993 and who are granted permanent residence after 1 March 1993 are exempt from charges.