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19 May 2008
In an effort to help immigrants gain the language skills needed to join the Australian work force, the government will invest close to AUD $50 million over the next four years in two programs designed to help migrants improve their English language skills.
The 2008-09 Federal Budget provides AUD $40 million for the Employment Pathways Program and AUD $9.2 million to the Traineeships in English and Work Readiness program.
"The pathways program will help people with the lowest levels of literacy learn English in formal and informal settings while introducing them to the Australian workforce," said Immigration Minister Chris Evans.
"The traineeships will help new migrants continue to learn English while they develop knowledge, skills and experience in Australian workplace culture," he added.
Evans said that both programs are designed to help migrants "pursue an ongoing pathway to successful employment opportunities" and that the long term objective is to help the Australia's economy deal with gaps in the workforce.
"Ensuring migrants are equipped for the workforce is an important economic objective in an environment of labour shortages which are adding to inflationary pressures", he said.
English language proficiency plays an important role in Australia's immigration system, notably it's General Skilled Migration program. Individuals proficient in English who possess skills in any of a wide range of occupations can apply for skilled immigration to Australia and attain a permanent resident visa.
For more information on how you can immigrate to Australia as a skilled worker, please fill out our free assessment form.