Sewing to success 


A new program offering Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) students the opportunity to sew their way to better English skills has been a huge success.

The course saw eight women complete Certificate I in Clothing Production and Certificate II in Spoken and Written English, with tutors providing constant literacy support while the students were learning commercial sewing skills.

The students originated from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Course coordinator Armida Monteith said “Some of the students have good sewing skills before they arrive in Australia. Therefore, the sewing room presents a familiar environment, where they can comfortably pick up English terms for familiar sewing techniques”.

“They were an incredibly eager group, amazingly quick learners and absolutely committed to attending classes. We have had four students re-enrol for further study this year”, she said.

“Students see the course as a way to gain employment, improve their English, or potentially earn income from home,” Armida said.

The joint venture, funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Training, has had an overwhelmingly positive response, with a long waiting list of interest students for 2006. It is hoped a similar program catering for men will be developed this year.