Interpreter training translates to more jobs for Queenslanders

Published Friday, 18 February, 2022 at 01:05 PM

Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

Queenslanders interested in a career as an interpreter will have the opportunity to apply for one of the 120 spots up for grabs in the subsidised interpreter training program which launched earlier today at the Queensland Multicultural Centre at Kangaroo Point.

The interpreter training is for people who want to undertake interpreter training in new and emerging languages and will ultimately provide better communication for Queensland’s multicultural communities.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard MP said the Queensland Government was committed to providing quality language services to all Queenslanders.

“That’s why we have invested $730,000 in training to help create job opportunities for people interested in becoming certified interpreters,’ she said.

“I would encourage any Queenslander fluent in one of the priority languages who wants to undertake nationally accredited interpreter training and pursue a career in this field to jump at this opportunity.

The program partners attending today’s launch included TAFE, local 2M Language Services and the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

“Interpreters are very important for those Queenslanders who are not proficient in English. There is no doubt we need more interpreters, across a wide range of languages and I would encourage anyone considering a career as an interpreter to find out more,’ she said

Ms Linard said the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the urgent need for interpreters in new and emerging languages.  The training will ensure some of our most vulnerable community members had equitable access to services and information. 

“While this training is about jobs, it is also about delivering better services to our multicultural communities and ensuring they have the most up-to-date information as we move through this global pandemic,” she said.

“We need to ensure everyone can access services and information in an equitable and timely manner.  We hope to see up to 120 Queenslanders gain jobs as a direct result of undertaking this training.

Karren Raper, Director of Health, Community and Foundation Skills at TAFE said TAFE had been successfully delivering online interpreter training since 2018, including in regional Queensland. 

“We’re looking forward to working with the Queensland Government, 2M Language Services and NAATI, to meet the demand for interpreting skills,’ she said.

Tea Dietterich, 2M Language Services CEO, said course graduates were guaranteed an industry placement and would gain first-hand experience of working as an interpreter. 

“This insight behind the scenes and actual real-life jobs will see them onboarded with 2M Language Services and other providers.  It will also enable them to work interstate thanks to video remote interpreting,” she said.

“Combined with the professional development they will receive through the 2M Academy, the budding interpreters will learn how to set up a business and build networks, which will help them succeed.”

Mark Painting, NAATI CEO congratulated the Queensland Government and the service providers on developing this innovative partnership. 

“The collaboration between government, private sector, and training organisations is the first of its kind in Australia,” he said.

“NAATI looks forward to working with all the stakeholders and hopes to see this type of initiative replicated in other states.”

The program is targeting people who can speak in-demand languages such as Arabic, Chin languages, Farsi, Hmong, Karenni, Kinyarwanda/Rwanda, Kirundi/ Nyarwandwa/ Rundi, Kiswahili and Kurdish.  It will run for three years, with funding provided by the Department of Employment, Training and Skills Development.

2M Language Services which is based in Queensland, will work with local radio stations, community centres and multicultural organisations to promote the program.  They will also lead the recruitment drive to reach potential candidates and provide course graduates with industry placements and professional development training.

The program will be delivered by TAFE as a 12-week online Interpreting Skills course endorsed by NAATI. A 20-week English Language Bridging Course will be offered to those participants who need extra support so they can participate in the next round of the Interpreting Skills course. 

For more information visit Applications close on March 21.


Media Contact: Catherine Baker, Senior Media Advisor, tel: 0498 844 783