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Program helps build work-ready confidence

By Leanne Coleman

Jean Pierre Mukendi working with local plumbing business Fred NT as part of his work experience through WRPEP Jean Pierre Mukendi working with local plumbing business Fred NT as part of his work experience through WRPEP

A new program aiming to assist adult refugee migrants find work has begun at Charles Darwin University.

The Workplace Readiness/Pathway to Employment Program (WRPEP) has been funded by a Northern Territory Government Equity Grant and targets migrant groups who will benefit from a preparatory course to better equip them to secure employment.

Throughout the 12-week program participants receive face-to-face tuition in English and an introduction to Occupational Health and Safety, a first aid course, a range of guest speakers who discuss work-related topics and a supported work placement.

Arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012, Jean Pierre Mukendi worked with local plumbing business Fred NT as part of his work experience through WRPEP.

“I worked in construction in my country, and hope to gain similar work in Darwin,” Jean said. “Through my course at CDU I have been able to begin to learn English and gain work experience, as well as learn valuable skills to gain further employment.”
 
The new program runs alongside the Settlement Language Pathways to Employment and Training (SLPET) which has been running for more than three years through the CDU Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

The course assists AMEP clients to learn English while at the same time gain familiarity with Australian workplace language, culture and practices. Participants are exposed to work situations through workplace visits, guest speakers and work experience placements arranged by the AMEP teachers.

Accounting and Financial Services graduate Zainab Alayan arrived in Darwin from Lebanon six months ago. She said that without the SLPET course and English she would not have gained the confidence to pursue employment.

“I was afraid to even answer my husband’s phone when I first arrived in Darwin,” Zainab said.

“This course has not only enabled me to improve my English, it has provided me with the skills needed to gain employment, such as CV writing and job interview techniques. It has also allowed me to identify any areas where I require further skill development.” 

As part of her course Zainab undertook work experience with Uniprint located on CDU’s Casuarina campus.

The SLPET course is funded by the Australian Government.