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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1006

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

(1)   In regard to the pilot scheme involving onthejob English courses for migrants, were New South Wales migrants offered an opportunity of participating in the scheme; if so, what was the response?

(2)   Were the various State Railway Commissions asked to participate in the scheme; if so, what was their reaction?

(3)   What types of industries will be included in any future expansion of the scheme?

(4)   In what way does the scheme vary from some forms on-the-job English classes operating in the New South Wales car manufacturing industry?

Senator GREENWOOD - The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   When the development of an industrial English course for migrant workers was announced on 27th February 3 companies in Melbourne only had been selected for the pilot courses. Since then a pilot course has also been introduced at a Sydney factory on 6th March. At this stage the courses are of an experimental nature only.

(2)   The State Railway Commissions have not yet been approached, but they will be given an opportunity to participate in the programme after the pilot courses have been evaluated.

(3)   With the co-operation of employers it is proposed to extend the industrial English course into other industries where migrants would benefit from this kind of on-the-job instruction.

(4)   The pilot course is similar to those already operating in certain car manufacturing industry plants in New South Wales only to the extent that it is based on the situational English course. However, whereas the latter are confined generally to instruction in basic English only, the new course has been considerably modified to draw more extensively and in a concentrated form on the vocabulary actually used in production processes, on the safely measures that are necessary in industry and on the orientation and induction that is given to employees in plants. Unlike the existing course which follows the continuation class programme of 2 classes a week each of 2 hours duration, the new course moreover consists of 24 units of instruction, each of one and a half hour's duration, so that with the presentation of 4 sessions each week, the course can be completed in 6 weeks. In addition, the pilot courses, unlike those conducted to date which are held in the employees' time only, are being held partly in the employers' time.

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