In brief

The City of Wanneroo (CoW) have drafted a new Community Development Plan.

Worthy of note, is the Plan revealed thousands of CoW residents have difficulty speaking English.

And 20% of residents speak a language other than English at home.

This is surprising given that Federal government funded English courses are available at North Metro Tafe’s Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Researchers have demonstrated competent English literacy is crucial for intercultural communication, integration, social cohesion and improving employment opportunities.

The AMEP is a free service to help migrants and refugees with low level English skills.

The government recently removed the 510-hour limit on free English tuition- plus the removal of time limits for enrolling, commencing, and completing English tuition.

This is a significant amount of government resources and funding provided for migrants to improve their English skills. 

Large amount of Australian taxpayer’s funds going into Adult Migrant English Learning Courses

The cost of the various Migrant English Learning Programs can be found in Federal Budget Papers.

And it may come as a surprise to Australian residents, given the Permanent Migration Program is supposed to be targeted at skilled English speaking visa applicants. Many of the partners of primary visa applicants or secondary applicants do require English language tuition.

Primary migrants are the main visa holders who satisfy the primary criteria (competent English literacy) for the grant of a visa. Secondary migrants do not and are accompanying family of primary migrants.

And the Morrison Government have recently made significant reforms to Permanent Migration which increased the number of places for Partner visas.

This has resulted in the Budget forecast inserting an even bigger contribution towards Migrant English Learning Programs than previous Budget’s.

The additional demands for English language services and income support by Partner migrants are expected to increase the costs by $123.1 million over the forward estimates period to 2024.

In other words, Australia’s Migration Program is costing taxpayers a significant amount of funds for English Literacy courses alone.

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