The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) welcomes the Federal Budget announcements this week, particularly in the areas of youth employment and building the capacity of young people.
CMY CEO, Carmel Guerra said given the current spike in youth unemployment, this budget’s focus on a Youth Employment Strategy is timely.
“It is great to see specific funds have been allocated in this budget to assist young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to access education and employment.”
“With up to 45% of refugee and migrant young people experiencing unemployment in Victoria1, it is heartening to see the Commonwealth Government recognising the issues facing this vulnerable group of young people.”
“This new employment strategy will target refugee and migrant young people in need, helping them to build skills and knowledge that will support them to enter the workforce and become more connected, empowered and influential Australians.”
“As part of a $105.7 million committment to help vulnerable young people into employment, $22.1million will be provided over four years specifically to support young refugees and other vulnerable young migrants to build skills and confidence to participate in education or work.”
“Everyone should feel like they belong and can participate fully in their community, so CMY was pleased to see such an emphasis on programs that help to encourage and strengthen participation in work; especially for migrant and refugee young people who often face complex barriers to workplace entry.”
CMY was also pleased to see $149.5 million has been allocated for settlement services in 2015-16 and $283.1 million allocated to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), including additional funds to expand the AMEP to include holders of temporary humanitarian visas for one year.
While Ms Guerra noted that there was good news for youth employment and the multicultural sector in this Federal Budget, changes to waiting periods for unemployment benefits were still of concern.
“Though 4 weeks may seem minimal to some, for the young people that CMY works with who are already highly disadvantaged and whose families are also in deep disadvantage it could be devastating.”
“CMY worries that these timeframes could send families that fall in to this group into deeper disadvantage or even homelessness in some cases.”
Despite this concern, CMY looks forward to learning more about the proposed budget and working alongside the Commonwealth Government and other partners as it continues to support multicultural young people as they settle in Australia.
For more information about the 2015/16 Federal Budget and a comprehensive list of commitments, please visit http://www.budget.gov.au/