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New partnership to benefit refugee healthcare professionals

OET helping refugees and asylum seekers requalify

The only international English language test for healthcare professionals and a leading Australian refugee settlement service have joined forces to assist newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers requalify and contribute to Australia’s healthcare industry. 

Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (CBLA), the owners of the Occupational English Test (OET), and AMES Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday that will see the two organisations promote and deliver OET to healthcare professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.  

Passing an English language test is a pre-requisite to registering with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the organisation responsible for keeping the public safe by ensuring that only healthcare professionals who are suitably trained and qualified can work in Australia.  

AMES Australia runs a range of English courses to assist newly arrived Australians, including a course designed for healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists) who intend to take OET. As part of the agreement with CBLA, the latter will offer up to three scholarships per term for AMES clients that will fund half of the cost of their English preparation course and the full OET test fee. 

Catherine Scarth, Chief Executive Officer of Ames Australia, said: We’re really pleased to be signing a partnership with OET. Many of our refugee and asylum seeker medically qualified professionals struggle to pay for all the testing and registration requirements in order to be able to practice here in Australia. The support of OET in providing the scholarships for them to do that will make all the difference between them ending up potentially as an Uber driver or actually being able to fill desperately needed medical posts throughout Australia and particularly in regional Australia.” 

CBLA Chief Executive Sujata Stead emphasised the importance of corporate Australia giving back to the wider community and paid tribute to the two organisations’ shared values. 

“OET’s vision is to empower global healthcare professionals with communication skills for success. In partnering with AMES, we hope to be able to assist those who have come to our shores under the most difficult conditions to be able to work in their chosen careers and provide safe and effective care in Australian healthcare settings. 

The two organisations envision that the partnership will assist individuals like Asseel Yako, a doctor from Syria, who arrived in Australia last year. After completing OET and professional migrant courses, Asseel is now working as an internal medicine registrar at a hospital in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley. 

About OET  

OET is an international English language test that assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.  

OET results are accepted by healthcare boards and councils in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Malta, Namibia and Ukraine as proof of English language proficiency.  In Australia and New Zealand OET is also accepted for visa and immigration purposes, while doctors and nurses in the UK are no longer required to take a separate English language test when applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa. 

Available at more than 140 venues in 44 countries, OET is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, a venture between Cambridge Assessment English and Box Hill Institute, Australia. 

For more information visit https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org 

About AMES Australia 

For 60 years AMES Australia has helped new and recently arrived refugees and migrants to settle into Victoria. AMES Australia offers much more than just teaching English – they not only work with new arrivals but also with the community, business and Government to develop sustainable and effective settlement solutions for the whole Victorian community. 

Their vision is “full participation for all in a cohesive and diverse society”. 

AMES Australia provides a comprehensive range of settlement services for refugees and migrants. These include on-arrival settlement support, English language and literacy training, vocational education and training, and employment services. 

Delivering all of these programs at the same time gives AMES Australia a unique perspective of their clients’ journeys and provides insights that allow them to build individual client pathways and to adapt or create bridging programs between the core services. 

For more information visit https://www.ames.net.au/ 


OET contact 

Michelle Coleman 

Senior Brand & Marketing Manager 

Mobile: +61 (0)402 474 900 

Email: [email protected] 

AMES Australia contact 

Laurie Nowell 

Media Manager 

Mobile: +61 0498 196 500 

Email: [email protected]  


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