TAFE Jobs and English Pathway Help Coffs Coast Students Find Work

Alona Stevens from AMEP’s Better Barista Course at TAFE.


COFFS Harbour’s Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) has developed an English, jobs and employment pathway for migrants that is helping to alleviate the shortage in retail and hospitality workers.

According to figures released in April by jobs website SEEK, job applications per advertisement were at the lowest level since 2012, underlining the skills shortage challenge faced by hospitality, tourism and retail businesses.

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In partnership with the Tourism and Hospitality section at Coffs Harbour Education Campus English language learners are studying short courses teaching migrants practical workplace skills for the hospitality and other industries.

The eight week Pathways to Employment in Hospitality program at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour has recently run with employment outcomes for students.

Kylie Warner, TAFE NSW Regional Coordinator for the federally-funded AMEP in Coffs Harbour says the Pathways program is designed to develop employability and language skills, introducing Australian workplace culture and offering a pathway into working in hospitality.

“The students took part in a combined English and Hospitality course delivered both in the classroom and kitchen and then underwent two weeks of work experience,” said Ms Warner.

“Six out of the twelve students got jobs during or after the course, four directly related to hospitality.”

One of the success stories from the course was a student who was able to start working immediately upon completion of the course.

Guinean student, Anne-Marie Grovogui, started her employment in a local café the day after she graduated.

Ms Grovogui told News Of The Area “I had very little English, but the teachers were very good, supporting, motivating and encouraging me.

“After two weeks of work experience at the café, my employer asked me to stay on and gave me a job as a kitchen hand,” she said.

“I’m very happy now, I’ve overcome barriers to employment and have started a new life experience.”

The program has been an ongoing support for migrants and former refugees.

Ms Warner was pleased to add that eleven other students completing their TAFE NSW AMEP or Spoken and Written English courses were subsequently employed in retail and horticultural businesses in Coffs Harbour.


By Sandra MOON

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