The Australian Government is making it easier for new migrants to learn and improve their English language skills by increasing the number of available hours through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
From today, migrants in Australia will be able to access more than the current standard 510 hours available through the AMEP.
Better English language skills improve a person’s chance of getting a job, helps them be more involved in the community and lets people fully participate in our democracy.
Only 13% of those with no English skills are in work compared to 62% of those who speak English well.
As we face unprecedented challenges, English is also important for our social cohesion.
Recognising how important English language is in Australia, the Government spends $250 million a year into English language programs to support up to 60,000 enrolments a year.
Currently people only complete about 300 hours of the 510 available and only 21% leave with a functional level of English.
Australia has changed a lot in the past 70 years with the number of Australians born overseas rising from 10% to around 30% today.
The changes mean that more migrants will be able to access free English tuition, for longer, and until they reach a higher level of proficiency.