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Young migrants and refugees brew up a future with NMIT

25 Nov 2008

It will be coffees and smiles all round on Wednesday morning (26 November) when 17 YAMEC (Young Adult Migrant Education) students, from NMIT's Collingwood campus, graduate with their Barista (coffee making) certificates.

The students, aged 16 to 26, are mainly refugees from Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Eritrea and the YAMEC program provides them with improved English language skills and general education. They're also completing a VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) program at Collingwood.

“The main purpose of providing these YAMEC students with a coffee making qualification is to give them a flexible employment option that will enable them to continue studying once their YAMEC program has ended,” said Fran MacMahon-Sers (YAMEC Program Coordinator for the NMIT Youth Unit). “The focus of the NMIT VCAL and YAMEC programs is to give students practical English language skills and to prepare them to enter the workforce.”

The students completed their coffee making course at NMIT's Preston campus thanks to funding ($11,000) from the Inner North Foundation. They also experienced a practical work placement at the Lentil as Anything cafe at the Abbotsford Convent.

The students will receive their graduation certificates at a ceremony at Lentil as Anything tomorrow (Wednesday 26 November). Lentil as Anything is located at 1 St Hellier St, Abbotsford. The presentation commences at 10:30 am and goes until 12 noon (Certificates awarded around 11 am). During the morning the students will put their new found skills to the test as they will be making and serving great coffees for the guests.

Media enquiries to: James Gardener, Communications officer, p: 03 9269 1579 or

YAMEC program enquiries to Fran MacMahon-Sers, p: 03 9269 1775.


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.