Interpreters and the Victorian Government speak the same language

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Victorian Multiculturalism received a much-needed boost this week, as the Andrews Government announced a significant funding increase – the largest in the state’s history – to interpreter services.“All Victorians have a right to access government services, regardless of their English language skills. Interpreters are vital to enabling this access,” said Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott, in his announcement.The government’s plan includes $21.8 million over four years and $8.4 million per annum ongoing to improve the pay and working conditions of contractors and casually employed interpreters.“With Victoria’s increasing cultural diversity, interpreters have never been more important. It is essential that we ensure a professional, high quality language services industry to meet the needs of Victorians,” said the minister.This policy offers much-needed relief to the language services industry, given that interpreter remuneration has been static for over 15 years, leading to experienced interpreters leaving the sector due to concerns about job security, remuneration and working conditions.The announcement highlighted the role of interpreters in enabling linguistically diverse communities to better access health, education and other critical services, also facilitating better communications between service providers and their clients.Apart from funding, the Andrews Labor Government is planning to reform its procurement of language services, as a way of supporting a high quality and professional interpreter workforce in Victoria.The changes ensure better rates are paid to interpreters, and that the right incentives are in place to keep them performing their crucial role in the delivery of government services.From tomorrow, 1 July, minimum rates of remuneration will be guaranteed for all contractor and casually employed interpreters who provide services to the Victorian Government.The reforms are the result of an extensive consultation with interpreters and other industry stakeholders and independent evidence-based reviews.A new Victorian Language Services Quality Committee will be established to advise the government on industry sustainability and quality issues into the future.last_img

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