CALD Youth Census Report
6 August 2014 at 3:25 pm
A new report into the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee youth in Australia says there’s a need for a continuing focus on English, education and training, and employment.
The Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network commissioned Professor Graeme Hugo to prepare the report, which contributes to baseline knowledge about CALD and refugee youth in Australia.
“It is important for policymakers at the Federal, State and Local area levels to understand the changing size and composition of its population. This report has focused on youth born in CALD and refugee countries between the ages of 12-24 and made comparisons with youth born in Australia at the state level to identify trends,” the report said.
It must be remembered that there is great diversity of ethnicities within CALD and refugee population groups which not only requires a range of differing need and services but also translates into different settlement and distribution patterns that need to be understood more fully.
“However, it is useful to first assess them more broadly as population groups in order to understand how youth from CALD and refugee countries as new additions to the Australia’s population are benchmarked against the Australian born youth population,” the report said.
When it comes to education, the report said, it was encouraging to see that youth born in CALD and refugee countries and with CALD and refugee ancestry generally had comparable rates of being enrolled at an educational institution.
In fact, youth born in CALD countries and youth with CALD and refugee ancestry performed slightly better than their Australian counterparts in the 12-17 age.
Overall, youth born in CALD and refugee countries and with CALD and refugee ancestry had higher participation rates as students in either a full or part-time capacity at an educational institution when compared to youth born in Australian.
While it is considered that the population of youth born in CALD countries partly comprises international students, there is also some evidence that there is a stronger emphasis placed on education for migrant youth.
The inverse relationship between employment and education is apparent for youth born in Australia which has a significantly higher proportion of its 18-24 group participating in the workforce compared to youth born in CALD and refugee countries.
The report said this may be attributed to the Australian born population having more options available to them apart from post-secondary education compared to youth born in CALD and refugee countries.
However, it said, for youth with CALD and refugee ancestry, while their engagement with the workforce was still lower than the Australian born population, it was higher than youth born in CALD and refugee countries.
It said this was an indication of how over the generations different population groups begin to converge towards the Australia born average.
The Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, launched The CALD Youth Census Report.
Broadly, she said, the report found that the rate of participation in education for CALD and refugee youth was comparable to Australian-born youth if not slightly higher, and there appeared to be strong emphasis placed on education among migrant youth.
“While the report notes that employment rates are lower for CALD and refugee youth compared to the Australian born population, this may be linked to the stronger emphasis placed on education and training,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said over time and generational change, there was convergence towards the Australian born youth rate of employment.
“The report reinforces the need for a continuing focus on English, education and training, and employment.
“The Government believes that learning English, having a secure job and gaining a quality education are critical to migrant participation,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
“This report will help us identify successes and areas which need more attention. It will allow us to make informed decisions about how we can best help this important target group.”