New push to set up English classes for refugees 70 per cent jobless year after arriving in Australia


The federal government plans to set up English classes in refugee camps to give potential immigrants a better shot at getting a job when they get to Australia.

Acting Immigration Minister and Minister for Population Alan Tudge has decried a link between unacceptably high rates of unemployment amongst refugees and a lack of English skills.

‘Long-term welfare dependence is debilitating for anyone, be they a refugee, long-term citizen or anyone else. We have to do better,’ Mr Tudge will say in a speech at the Menzies Research Centre in Melbourne, The Australian reported on Friday.

‘Data shows that when identifying reasons for finding it difficult to get a job, close to 60 per cent of humanitarian entrants said ‘my English isn’t good enough yet’.’

A trial of English-language classes in overseas camps to upskill refugees before they arrive in Australia is due to begin on July 1.

More than 70 per cent of refugees are unemployed a year after arriving in Australia, the government says.



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