The Missing Link?

Young People from Migrant and Refugee Backgrounds, Social Capital and the Transition to Employment

Youth unemployment is a growing concern in Australia, with the unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 more than twice the national figure (BSL, 2016). Additionally, economic changes are radically changing job opportunities through globalisation, automation and more flexible work (FYA, 2016), highlighting the importance of complex, multifaceted responses.

This paper aims to develop a deeper understanding of the way in which young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience social capital in relation to work transitions, particularly for those who are tertiary educated. This is with the intention of exploring how best to support the breadth and quality of young people’s networks to facilitate the transition to meaningful work. Access to bridging capital for the purposes of employment is an issue of equity – an essential link that is often missing for young people with a refugee or migrant experience. It is all of our responsibility to ensure these connections can be made and that meaningful work is accessible to all. The future of both our young people and our society depends on it. Read the full paper.