Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams today launched a $100,000 pilot program paving a pathway for up to 45 students across NSW to become practicing interpreters.

The NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program will support people who speak in-demand languages with fully funded scholarships to study interpreting at NSW TAFE.

“In NSW we speak more than 275 languages and dialects. This linguistic diversity is an immense social and economic asset,” Mr Williams said.

“Interpreters have a vital role to play in our justice system and are crucial in the provision of high-quality health, education and social services.”

Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said he was delighted TAFE NSW would deliver training to the State’s next generation of interpreters.

“These scholarship winners are set to benefit big from TAFE NSW’s world-class training, which will equip them with the skills they need to get a job and give back to the community,” Mr Marshall said.

Course graduates will be eligible to become Recognised Practicing Interpreters with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

People who speak Assyrian, Burmese, Chaldean, Greek, Italian, Kirundi, Khmer, Kurmanji, Maltese, Nepalese, Tamil, Tibetan, Tigringa, Thai, Tongan, Pashto, Rohingya, Samoan, Somali or Vietnamese are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for the program all candidates must successfully complete an English language proficiency test.

The 12-month pilot program will commence in Sydney and will be rolled out to regional NSW as of mid-2019. Expressions of interest for the Semester 1 2019 cohort will be accepted until 5pm Friday 8 February 2019.

For more information about the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program, please see: www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au

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