Putting Language In Place: Improving the Adult Migrant English Program is a report from the Centre for Policy Development’s Cities and Settlement Initiative on reforms to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) to improve the economic participation of refugees in Australia.
The AMEP has been the cornerstone of English language assistance for generations of migrants to Australia, providing language education and aiding new arrivals in their settlement journey. Now more than ever before, English language skills are vital in ensuring migrants can successfully participate in Australian economic and social life.
Putting Language In Place provides important context for the foundational changes to the AMEP announced by Minister Alan Tudge in his National Press Club Address, including expanding eligibility to all permanent migrants and citizens requiring English language support, relaxing the timeframe in which people can access this support, and making digital learning more accessible.
Whether recently arrived or resident for years, people with poor English will face additional barriers to full engagement in society and struggle to find work in an unforgiving post-COVID-19 labour market.
The report plots a reimagined and improved way forward for English language policy and programming. Building on the AMEP’s newfound flexibility, the report outlines how to create a more tailored and outcomes-driven program, which supports people on their full settlement journey, and allows them to adapt their English learning to the places in which they live and work. Key recommendations include:
Putting Language In Place was produced as part of Centre for Policy Development’s Cities and Settlement Initiative, and it complements CPD’s work supporting transitions to employment for people facing disadvantage in the labour market. CPD have been working with colleagues across the sector for over two years on ensuring English language assistance, and specifically a reinvigorated AMEP, more effectively supports economic and social participation for migrants.
We are grateful to everyone who contributed their time and insights to this report, not least to Henry Sherrell, the report’s lead author.
For new migrants to Australia, speaking English is more important than ever before. Participation in social and economic liferests on the ability to communicate with others.
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