Calls to Address Migrant Youth Unemployment
7 March 2014 at 3:09 pm
Humanitarian migrants have the highest unemployment rate of all the migration categories, according to a report released by the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) commissioned by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to inform its Youth Initiative.
“This is especially crucial, given that a significant proportion of refugees and humanitarian entrants are young people,” the report said.
The Facilitating the Transition to Employment for Refugee Young People report revealed unemployment is higher in young people from households where a language other than English is spoken.
The report identified that young people born outside of Australia have an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent compared to the 7 per cent unemployment rate of those born in Australia.
In the category of 20-24-year-olds in Victoria, of young people who speak only English at home, 6.6 per cent are unemployed compared to 9.4 per cent of young people who speak a language other than English.
CMY said that the employment-related needs of young refugees were not being adequately addressed by available settlement, education and employment services. It is calling for more targeted programs to assist this particular cohort.
CMY Chief Executive Officer Carmel Guerra said that refugee and newly arrived young people have the passion and capability to become productive members of the Australian community.
“Host countries such as Australia have a significant bearing on the experiences and outcomes of refugee young people – they can make the difference between a young person reaching their full potential and a young person achieving negative outcomes,” Guerra said.
“These young people undoubtedly bring with them a multitude of strengths and personal resources that are a great asset to the Australian economy.”
The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer Catherine Brown said that the Foundation was pleased to partner with CMY to commission the report.
“As part of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting young people through our Youth Initiative, we felt it was important for the Foundation to learn more about issues impacting young people,” Brown said.
“Access to appropriate education, training and employment is an issue affecting many young people today.
“Reviewing and learning more about what has worked and what has not worked for refugee young people to find and gain employment will help us ensure that we make the most impact through our grantmaking.”
Guerra concluded that refugee young people are an untapped resource and with appropriate support will prove to be an investment into the Australian workforce.