Young people account for more than one third of Australia’s unemployed population, and the problem of youth unemployment is growing.
Australia’s youth unemployment and underemployment rates have reached a 40-year high, and the issue is even more pronounced for young people from migrant backgrounds.
In addition to language and cultural barriers, young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds face specific challenges in getting a foothold into an already competitive job market.
Young people from migrant backgrounds often struggle to gain recognition for prior work experience or qualifications earned overseas and experience discrimination in the recruitment process. They are also less likely to have the personal job-search networks that many of us take for granted; accessing employment in Australia can often be about knowing the right people and having the right connections.
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has funded the Centre for Multicultural Youth to deliver a new project to help young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds find work.
Pathway to Opportunity will create 60 new traineeships and apprenticeships over two years. The program is targeted at young people aged 16-25 from African and Pacifika backgrounds who have a school-leavers certificate but aren’t engaged in further training or employment.
Pathway to Opportunity will initially focus on the Northern and Western suburbs of Melbourne and will be managed in partnership with AFL SportsReady and the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre.
Participants will receive paid work experience, on the job accredited training, and mentor support from trained volunteers. Centre for Multicultural Youth and AFL SportsReady will also provide follow-up careers advice and information on future pathways to work.