The resettlement plans of refugees by Australia is facing a challenge. The English language courses for refugees conducted by the federal government have registered a high rate of dropout.
The English language program is offered to the refugees with up to 1000 hours of classes for free! But the participants are dropping out before completing a minimum of 510 hours. On average, they are attending just 300 hours of classes.
The language training intends to help refugees reach a functional level in English. The exercise is vital to the efforts of the Australian government to absorb these refugees.
The refugees are absorbed into Australia through its humanitarian program. The aim is to enable them to reach a level of functional literacy and numeracy. That will help them to find a job in the country.
With only 21% of refugees completing English programs, the purpose of the effort is surely left to be met. This has prompted the government to overhaul the method of running these services. It is now thought of how the program should be coordinated. It must be ensured that the program improves the refugees’ chances of settling in Australia.
The refinement of plans is important considering the high refugee unemployment rate. It stands at around 77% after 1 year of their arrival in Australia. It takes 3 years for it to reach 38% and 10 years for 22%.
The new methods of delivering language classes would be rolled out for trial from July 1, 2020. These include conducting language classes in childcare centers, workplaces, and online platforms. There is also a plan to conduct “mums and bubs” classes. Here, parents can learn alongside other refugees.
When the plan succeeds, it will end the long-term welfare dependence. This is because the educated refugees will then be able to find jobs to sustain themselves.
The federal government is also promising alternative methods to bring refugees to their employments. There are incentives offered to refugees for settling in regional centers. A 50% target is planned for resettlement in regional areas by mid-2022.
English and employability are the two vital factors for the refugees to step up, succeed and contribute to Australia. Improved language programs will be a big step in this direction.
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