From South America to Australia, migrant Luciana Menezes Santos hoped for a successful career in another country.
The Brazilian student, who lives in Cronulla, wanted to start stepping in the door. But she knew she needed to hone certain language skills that would give her a good head start.
Ms Santos started working part-time as a retail assistant and also babysit to help make ends meet.
She stumbled across TAFE NSW and ended up earning a Certificate III in spoken and written English through the English for Adult Migrants (AMEP) program.
It offers free courses to help eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants with a low level of English improve their English skills and settle in Australia. It is funded by the Ministry of the Interior.
The program aims to increase self-confidence so that students can secure full-time employment.
Research conducted in 2017 by the Australian Institute of Family Studies showed fluency in English to be a key driver of positive social and economic outcomes for humanitarian migrants and very important for finding employment.
The job search component of English classes is essential for improving students’ self-esteem and ensuring better employment prospects.
Ms. Santos learned the skills she needed to create a resume, and she was able to quit her part-time job at a retail clothing store.
“After trying for a while to find a full time job, I knew I had to try something different. I decided to study at TAFE NSW to improve my English and interview skills and gain confidence. in me, ”she said.
After completing the course, Ms. Santos applied for and secured a demanding and practical customer service and sales position with an international automotive company, where she is required to use a high level of English proficiency and follow regular training.
Vivien Clark, a fundamental studies teacher at TAFE NSW, said the job search component of the course gives students a solid foundation for furthering their education or finding employment.
“Students of the course gain confidence when they use English, improve their communication skills to open up additional career paths, and feel comfortable in social and formal situations,” Ms. Clark said.
“All students receive regular grammar and pronunciation feedback during class and there is always discussion of settlement issues and cultural challenges as they arise.”