Professionals Australia calls on the Victorian Government to deliver job certainty for translators and interpreters.
“The Victorian Government’s commitment to convene an interdepartmental working group, is a good first step.
“This new work group will be specifically tasked with addressing workforce issues in the language services industry.
“Interpreters are usually engaged on temporary or short-term contracts, they make a median annual income of approximately $30K, yet they deliver an essential service for business and the community.
“The state government funds many of the agencies and organisations that engage translators and interpreters. They have a clear role in making sure appropriate employment protections are in place,” said Chris Walton, CEO of Professionals Australia.
“As our population grows, so does demand for language services. Interpreters and translators are skilled professionals that play a vital role in our proud multicultural Australia. They help non-English speaking Australians to access assistance, enact their legal rights and participate fully in Australian democracy.
“Interpreters deserve a remuneration that recognises their qualifications, experience and the flexible nature of their work. On any given day an interpreter may be assisting an elderly person to arrange their finances, interpreting for a court settlement or participating in a health diagnosis at a hospital.
“Interpreters also work with victims of crime and can be exposed to distressing or traumatic material in the course of their work. Interpreters provide a vital public good and deserve proper employment arrangements and job security.
“Translators and interpreters often treated as independent contractors. They are at the heart of our modern Australia yet they are living contract to contract.
“Professionals Australia welcomes the Victorian Government’s commitment to bring together the key public sector departments. We look forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to make sure non-English speaking Australians can continue to access critical language and translation services,” said Mr Walton.
Media contact: Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857