Norther Partnerships Unit

Organisation

RMIT College of Design and Social Context

Project

English as a Second Language

Location/Municipality

Brunswick - Moreland Region

Grant

Pathways to Employment 11 - 12

The College of Design and Social Context (DSC) incorporates the fields of art, communication, design, education, humanities, property and social sciences.

The Northern Partnerships Unit aims to broker learning and research opportunities through school, industry, and community partnerships with a focus on youth transition, career education, and the development of Learning Communities of Place in Melbourne's North.

RMIT's cohort of English as a Second Language students is made up of 25 people aged 18 to 35 plus. They have mixed cultural and religious backgrounds and most come from Asia and Africa. They are quite 'sheltered' within their families/communities and some are altogether disengaged. Many face multiple barriers to employment, training and education. Some of the barriers this project will seek to overcome include:

  • limited opportunities for the practical use of English language, literacy, and numeracy skills
  • lack of work experience and knowledge of Australian workplaces
  • inability to access services that will assist them in overcoming their low socio-economic and cultural barriers
  • trust issues stemming from trauma experienced in their home country

The project focuses on incorporating an innovative mentoring element. The emphasis is on supporting ESL students to take the next step from study to employment, using existing community networks to source volunteer mentors from desired industries. Mentors will receive tailored training to assist the students.