On 17th August more than 240 people joined the launch of the MYAN/Deloitte report COVID-19 and young migrants - impact and solutions.
David Rumbens, Partner, Deloitte Access Economic, highlighted the employment gaps that occurred at the onset of COVID-19, and presented a critical understanding to how the data reflected possible labour scarring, which is likely to pose future employment challenges for young people.
Alison Larkins, Coordinator-General for Migrant Services, Department of Home Affairs then officially launched the report. She praised the findings and supported the data by including her own experiences of working with migrant communities. She reflected upon the essential nature of social organisations which are crucial to providing employment benefits and help young migrants gain jobs and internship opportunities.
“Work for young migrants and refugees is an important enabler of independence, a rite of passage which fosters a sense of purpose and achievement, and is critical to forming a sense of belonging in Australia and build social capital"
- Alison Larkins
Innes Willox- Chief Executive, Australia Industry Group, and Chairperson, Migration Council of Australia addressed the inevitability of the topic and agrees with the existing loopholes which hinder young migrants from gaining employment.
“Migrants, particularly young migrants are extremely motivated and risk takers”
“When businesses go down the path of engaging those young migrants, they get an enormous amount out in terms of the organisations’ contribution to the community and being able to engage with different communities”
- Innes Willox
Fatima Tlaa, MYAN Youth Ambassador Network Representative for SA, and Yusuf Mohamed, a young entrepreneur from VIC, shared their experiences and the difficulties with job seeking search. They provided inspirational narratives on their shift to the understanding of the job market and finding their space in the labour market force.
“A welcoming environment for people of colour in the job industry is essential."
- Fatima Tlaa
“Training pathways and more awareness of traineeships is crucial to get young migrants into the job force.” - Yusuf Mohamed
A big thank you to all the attendees, panelists, speakers and our event moderators - Carmel Guerra, Chair of MYAN and the CEO of Centre for Multicultural Youth; and Martika Shakoor, Youth Advocacy officer at MYAN.
Watch the full video here
Key highlights from the report:
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.
Data shows skilled migrants generally achieve higher labour market participation and lower employment than those born in Australia.
The economic downturn and the impact on employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were disproportionately observed for young migrants. While many people lost jobs last year as a result of the pandemic, the job loss for younger people born overseas were 8% higher than those born within the country. For young migrants, the loss of employment opportunities during their youth can have long-term labour market scarring impacts.
Measures that would increase the participation of young migrants in jobs include:
Increasing their English proficiency
Recognition of overseas qualifications
Targeted Coaching and mentoring
Building greater understanding of the Australian Business environment.