A new education program at the Migrant Resource Centre has generated its first graduates, helping them gain employment in the aged-care and disability sector.

The St Albans-based centre provides settlement and support services to migrants and refugees.

Training and compliance manager Sue Tantaro said such programs were an important way for new migrants to build confidence and improve their chances of employment.

“It’s probably 99 per cent of the people that come to us are from an ethnic background, and they want assistance with English language skills and then they look for employment,” she said. “The aged-care and disability sector is a high-needs area for employment, especially with the NDIS coming in, so it’s a good chance for these graduates to build their confidence up, start working and maybe go on to further study elsewhere.”

Of last week’s 35 graduates, roughly a quarter are already employed.

Ms Tantaro said the centre could offer a broader range of community-based courses in the future.

“We’re looking at things in community services or health administration, but we really want to stick to community work because that’s what we always hear that people want,” she said. “We work with places like Victoria University, so if someone does a course with us and then say wants to go on and do nursing for example, we can help them make that happen.”