Jobs Summit must lead to improved employment outcomes and security for young people (copy 01)

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Friday 26th August 2022
Australia’s peak body on multicultural youth affairs, Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN) welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to hosting the upcoming job summit.
MYAN sees this as an opportunity for the government to demonstrate that not only are they listening to the voices of young people, but that they are committed to taking inspired action to addressing long standing employment issues that impact young peoples sustained and positive engagement in the workforce, and working towards an employment landscape that young people can feel hopeful in.
Reducing barriers to employment for young people from multicultural backgrounds-particularly more newly arrived young people- benefits the whole of Australia, and will give hope to a generation of young people who have been most impacted by the recent economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MYAN recently engaged Deloitte Australia to provide data, evidence and analysis on the reality of employment for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, how we can most effectively support their engagement in the workforce, and what the benefit of doing so would bring to young people themselves, and the Australian economy as a whole.
Here’s a snapshot of what we found.
  • Policies that successfully create parity of labour force participation between young migrants and the Australian born population could increase the size of the Australian economy by $44 billion from 2022-23 to 2031-32 and create 54,000 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs.
There is a clear potential broader economic consequence of providing additional support to this cohort.
However-there are existing barriers that need to be addressed to bring this to reality.
  • The Australian Labour Force Survey has consistently shown a disparity in the youth employment participation rate between young people born overseas and those born in Australia.  Over the last 20 years, the gap between these two groups has been as large as 17%.
  •  The intersection of being both young and also more newly arrived from a refugee or migrant background means that this group of young people face additional barriers and challenges to meaningful employment than their Australian-born, non-migrant peers - leaving them particularly vulnerable to long term labour market exclusion and economic shock.
  • Many of the challenges faced by young migrants to Australia have been exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These challenges are compounded for young people on temporary visas, including those on Bridging Visas and international students who - despite having skills and motivation to work - face additional barriers due to employment restrictions associated with their visas.  
MYAN Australia’s Chairperson Carmel Guerra OAM says “What this tells us is that the gap in labour force participation for many young migrants in Australia represents a significant source of untapped potential. Targeted support for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds is the most effective way for this group of young people to access and remain engaged in employment.”
Rana Ebrahimi, MYAN’s National Manager adds “ We look forward to the outcomes of the Job Summit and hope to see intentional work to remove - or at least reduce - barriers to meaningful employment that will create improved social and economic benefits for young people and the broader Australian community.”
Young people are ready to work. But they need the right frameworks, policies, and training and employment opportunities in place to support them and maximise their potential, enthusiasm and skills.
Young people represent the economic future of this country. Targeted investment in young people now is vital to sustainable long-term economic growth. MYAN is ready to work with a government who can reimagine the economic and employment landscape for young people. This will enable the skills and workforce needs of all participants in the Australian economy to be at the forefront when the Government is considering workforce, employment and skills policies and programs.

Read more findings from the report COVID-19 and Young Migrants-Impact and Solutions here.

For enquiries, please contact MYAN National Manager Rana Ebrahmi on 0498437380 or email.
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