Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Investment in vulnerable communities to help young Australians make the right choices

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services

  • The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
    Minister for Social Services

The Abbott Government will invest over $22 million in assisting humanitarian entrants and other vulnerable migrants under 25 participate in education and make successful transitions to work the Hon. Scott Morrison and Parliamentary Secretary, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells announced today.

“We cannot afford vulnerable youth to disengage from society. Disengagement poses broader risks to social cohesion, especially when young people are concentrated in particular geographic areas in our major cities. Some of them are vulnerable targets for extremist predators in their communities seeking to proselytise, indoctrinate and radicalise,” Minister Morrison said.

“Racism, discrimination and events overseas can create an ‘us and them’ mentality for these young, marginalised, vulnerable people.

“There is no excuse for young people making the choices that put them on the deadly road to Damascus. At the same time, we can act to ensure they make the right choices to be in study and work and create a positive future for themselves in Australia, which is their home.

“We need to stop the journey to radicalisation before it even begins.

“We achieve this by getting these vulnerable young people into jobs and education and into the mainstream of our community. Our package of measures is aimed at helping achieving this outcome.

“We want to support young Australians in vulnerable communities who want to make the right decisions about their future,” Minister Morrison said.

The Transition Support for Young Refugees and Other Vulnerable Young Migrants programme is made up of four measures:

  • Partnerships for Employment: support for over 2,000 young refugees and vulnerable migrants to undertake job readiness programmes to improve their work readiness, gain work experience and to fill existing job vacancies;

  • Strong Connections to Education: assistance for up to 1,500 young refugees and vulnerable migrants to remain engaged with education through addressing and building self-confidence and social connections;

  • Sports Engagement for Youth: support for up to 10,000 young people a year to participate in sporting activities delivered by community groups and sporting organisations to help young people build social connections and confidence beyond their own community; and

  • Increased Vocational Opportunities: design of an innovative partnership-based model and piloting of new arrangements to create pathways for young refugees and vulnerable migrants to strengthen and obtain vocational skills. Up to 300 eligible young people to benefit.

Parliamentary Secretary Fierravanti-Wells said: “This programme reinforces the government’s commitment to the three E’s; English, education, and employment.”

The measures will commence from 1 January 2016 with the exception of the Vocational Opportunities initiative which will be finalised over the coming financial year before being piloted.