Victoria's Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney recently visited AMES Australia's Werribee site to meet teachers and students and see the Digital Literacy pre-course in action.
AMES Digital Literacy pre-course is a new communication program that is helping migrants and refugees improve their language and digital skills in preparation for further study or gaining meaningful jobs.
It began at AMES in March to provide participants with a solid foundation to use emails and services like myGov, search for jobs, create strong passwords and understand cyber safety.
AMES CEO Cath Scarth welcomed the minister to the event, which was also a celebration of AMES Australia's 70 years of service.
“AMES is thrilled to be supporting Victoria's multicultural community and refugees to improve their skills as well as access services, information and employment opportunities," Cath said.
AMES Senior Manager Digital Engagement Craig Snelling told the gathering that the Digital Literacy pre-course was started in response to the online transition of programs during the coronavirus pandemic and because many AMES clients had not used a computer or smart phone before arriving in Australia.
He said it was co-designed by people who were refugees and asylum seekers for migrants from places like Syria and Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Venezuela.
AMES student Neten Tshering arrived from Bhutan and lives in Diggers Rest with his family and joined the program to improve his English with the hopes of securing a job in the local community.
Koreana student Myeongju Jeong moved to Australia nine ago and works as a chef at a CBD restaurant. He wants to improve his English to make new friends and progress his career.
Minister Tierney told the gathering: “This is an important program that will ensure no Victorian is left behind – and that people from CALD communities have the support to improve their communication skills, enter the workforce, and live their best lives."
“We are committed to strengthening the skills and training sector to prepare people for the most in-demand jobs and bolster the economy as Victoria emerges from the coronavirus pandemic," the minister said.