Thousands of asylum seekers and refugees on temporary protection visas in Victoria will now have access to local education and training programs across the state.
The Victorian Government today opened up its bank account to expand the Asylum Seeker VET Program, delivering $15 million in funding over two years.
The funding will to allow 3000 asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders to undertake any of the 1000 training programs provided by Victorian TAFEs and private training centres, with customised reading and writing programs.
Victoria's Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert told The Huffington Post Australia the announcement was beneficial to Victorian employers and the state economy -- as the training will get more people into the workforce.
They want to be part of our society and the truth of the matter is it's a bad investment having [asylum seekers] here not being able to contribute to our societySteve Herbert
"This is about formal qualifications that lead to jobs and we think this $15 million will create job opportunities for 3000 people," Herbert said.
"[Asylum seekers and temporary visa protection holders] want to be part of our society and the truth of the matter is it's a bad investment having them here not being able to contribute to our society.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), which has been established in Victoria for over a decade, will provide assistance to asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders enrolling in courses with integrated education plans.
A phone hotline will also be set up for the ASRC to provide additional support to asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders enrolled in traineeships, ranging from construction and design to hospitality and retail.
"They'll all get an integrated education plan which will be assessed around their skills capacity," Herbert told HuffPost Australia.
Previously the ASRC has only been able to assist a maximum of 300 asylum seekers annually, putting about 700 asylum seekers through training courses over the past five years.
There are about 11,000 asylum seekers and refugees on temporary protection visas across the state.
The ASRC will also providing additional training for staff at these educational institutions.
In April, Daniel Andrews' government announced $20 million in budget funding would be allocated to help vulnerable and young people in Victoria find work through additional training.
"This is the biggest educational program for asylum seekers in the country," Herbert said.
"It's good for them and it's good for us."