A connected community without language barriers

Launch of Red Cross and NAATI Credentialing Program Pilot

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) has partnered with Australian Red Cross to deliver a pilot program supporting people who have recently resettled in Australia from Afghanistan to gain a NAATI credential as an interpreter or community language aide.

This pilot has been launched in response to increased demand for interpreters and bilingual workers among newly arrived migrants to Australia. It is intended that this pilot will support new arrivals to connect with employment and training in the language services sector.

The pilot, delivered by AMES and Australian Red Cross, aims to work with recently arrived people from Afghanistan who are receiving support through the Humanitarian Settlement Program, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, to continue their careers as interpreters. 

Eligible applicants will be able to access interpreter training, and discounted or fully sponsored NAATI credentials, to become an interpreter or community language aide. Those supported under the program will also benefit from mentoring and connection with employers.

Mark Painting, NAATI’s CEO, says, “NAATI holds practitioners to a high standard, and we know that this is for the benefit of clients, of translators and interpreters, and the community. For humanitarian entrants who may arrive with very little material possessions and finances, the pathway to a NAATI credential can be barrier to gaining employment as an interpreter in Australia.”

He added, “We are pleased to be able to partner with Australian Red Cross to support newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants and their communities and continue striving for our vision of a connected community without language barriers.”

There has been strong interest in the program among recently arrived Afghans, with more than 75 people registering for the first information session.

“Many of those who have recently arrived from Afghanistan were working right up until the evacuation, including interpreters who served alongside Australian and allied forces” says Shzan Plandowski, Economic Participation Lead, Migration Support Program at Australian Red Cross.

“These are highly skilled and motivated people who want to continue their careers, but entering the workforce in a new country and gaining the appropriate training can be hard to navigate. This initiative is crucial as it not only addresses the current need for professional interpreting services but also provides a meaningful pathway for people to work and contribute to the community.”

Red Cross supports refugees, people seeking asylum and others who are vulnerable as a result of migration and is contracted by the Department of Home Affairs to deliver the Humanitarian Settlement Program in Western Australia, the ACT and southern NSW.

If you would like to get involved or to find out more, you can contact Australian Red Cross at settlement@redcross.org.au.

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