Emmanuela Piath Noi (Youth Intern) and Shadab Safa (Shout Out speaker) accompanied CMY’s Policy Officer, Willow Kellock to present to the Victorian Parliamentary Committee’s Inquiry into Sustainable Employment for Disadvantaged Jobseekers on 4th September.
Both Emmanuela and Shadab shared their lived experiences and insight into the barriers facing young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, in regards to transitions to employment, as well as highlighted some of the solutions.
Racism and discrimination in the education space were the main focus areas for Emmanuela, and how those barriers hinder academic performance and employment outcomes, and affect the mental health of young people.
“A lot of the time a young person’s hopes for the future are shaped by other peoples' belief in them, and when disadvantaged young people don’t have those sort of nurturing environments where they’re supported and encouraged, it’s even harder to have certain aspirations,” Emmanuela says.
When asked about her personal experience, she says mentorship was pivotal for her. “What’s made a difference for me is that I quickly became aware that the sort of connections that I needed weren’t close to me, so I actively sought out volunteer opportunities and joined programs such as Employment Empowers at CMY and leadership programs.” However, she also recognises that not everyone has those opportunities and that some people may need more support.
“Young people needed more opportunities where they can access mentors because that is often the pathway to information, connections and even employment,” she says.
Emmanuela’s main takeaway from the day was the lack of mental health-focused programs and that more time needed to be dedicated to preparing young people for employment rather than just connecting them to employment without providing ongoing support.
Big congratulations to Emmanuela, Shadab & Willow for being part of a very important conversation and making a difference!
Read CMY's submission to Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Sustainable Employment for Disadvantaged Jobseekers here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-la/article/4181