Coffs Coast Community College, based in Coffs Harbour NSW, has received a Fostering Integration Grant from the Commonwealth Government to encourage the social and economic participation of migrants. The project will develop their skills and cultural competencies to integrate into Australian social, economic and civic life.
Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, said there are many refugees and migrants from countries such as India, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and South Africa living in the electorate of Cowper. The $25,000 grant will help the College provide training for their success.
“There are about 8,000 refugees and migrants living in our regional cities and towns across the Mid North Coast and 5,500 reside in the Coffs Harbour area. Refugees and migrants come here for family, employment or humanitarian reasons and have often experienced crime, poverty, war and other unsafe situations,” Mr Conaghan said.
“The grant will supporting all Australians including those from multicultural backgrounds and we have awarded Coffs Harbour Community College a $25,000 Fostering Integration Grant to help improve migrants,” Mr Congahan said.
Coffs Coast Community College will deliver courses that specifically target language and communication, to assist local migrant communities to overcome barriers to employment.
“Our college has designed a course to teach English language skills necessary to work in the hospitality and retail sectors and we teach things like customer and staff language, expectations of these workplaces and basic money skills,” said College Operations Manager Margot Steadman.
“Employment for migrant communities is difficult in regional areas, particularly Coffs Harbour as it has an intergenerational high unemployment rate. Our applicants are first generation Australians, with limited English skills and work experience,” Ms Steadman said.