For Australia’s migrant and refugee families, the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is a critical stepping stone in their settlement journey.
As the Queensland provider of the AMEP, TAFE Queensland welcomes the recent program changes announced by Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge on Friday 28 August.
Currently, new migrants and refugees are required to complete their free AMEP tuition—a maximum of 510 hours for most students—within five years of commencing study.
Under changes to be introduced by legislation, Minister Tudge announced that eligible residents will have access to uncapped tuition hours and will not be restricted by time frames.
“This is a direct path to stronger settlement outcomes for our students,” said Scott Bray, Executive Director of TAFE Queensland English Language and Literacy Services.
“The AMEP is designed to improve English language proficiency—but the benefits transcend that. Students exit the program with greater confidence, with the desire and readiness to engage in their community, with support networks and industry connections. The flow-on from these changes will be immeasurable.”
It’s a significant development for students with critical language needs and intensive settlement processes, such as refugees without prior formal education.
The changes will also reduce stressors for students who cannot participate in full-time or consistent study due to health complications or personal matters.
AMEP students will also be encouraged to attain higher levels of English proficiency, with the Minister announcing exit levels will be raised from ‘functional’ to ‘vocational’ English.
“The change in exit levels, together with our focus on getting people job ready, will mean more migrants and refugees can step straight out of the classroom and into the workforce,” Scott Bray said.
The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. In Queensland, the AMEP is delivered through TAFE Queensland.