Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

New Report on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Refugee Youth Launched

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, today launched a new report into the education, employment, family and living arrangements for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee youth.

“As the Parliamentary Secretary with special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, I am pleased to launch this important report,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

The CALD Youth Census Report finds that broadly, the rate of participation in education for CALD and refugee youth is comparable to Australian born youth if not slightly higher, and there appears 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 is convergence towards the Australian born youth rate of 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 and improves the evidence base and data collection for these groups.

“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.

“Australia’s settlement programmes focus on fostering social participation, economic wellbeing and independence, and aim to assist migrants to become self-reliant and participate in Australian society.

“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.

“I would like to thank the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network and Professor Hugo and team for their work in researching and producing this excellent report,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.