The next generation of Indigenous youth are educated and make up half of the nation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, but employment outcomes are still low.
The Point
28 Apr 2016 - 7:39 PM  UPDATED 29 Apr 2016 - 8:57 AM

Indigenous people under 20 make up half the Indigenous population, compared to one-third of the wider population being under 20, according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report released Thursday. 

The report, which provides a snapshot of Indigenous trends, also shows a rise in the number of Indigenous students completing year 12 and vocational education.

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Yet Indigenous people are still three times more likely to be unemployed.

Reconciliation Australia CEO Justin Mohamed says discrimination may be a barrier to Indigenous employment.

“We've got to change some of the systems that lie beneath how our nation works to stamp out racism, to stamp out people feeling unsafe and be able to walk into any institution or any place and feel they're going to be treated equally,” Mr Mohamed told ‘The Point’.

Dr Paul Jelfs from the Australian Bureau of Statistics agrees, citing more data from the report.

"What we've seen is one in three people have experienced discrimination and that's unfortunate," he says.

"And sometimes that plays out in the workplace as well - not only in trying to attain a job, but actually in the job itself."

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Twenty-year-old Chris Tamwoy, who works in allied health, says his transition from school to work was made easier by maintaining his connection to his culture.

“You're walking into a complete strange world,” Mr Tamwoy, who was raised by his grandmother on the island of Badu in the Torres Strait, told ‘The Point’.

“Having a strong identity and a strong cultural identity helps you to take on challenges that will come your way.”