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Finishing your degree or education and starting work can be an exciting time. Thousands of migrants arriving in Australia too are fairly optimistic of gaining fruitful employment upon their arrival in Australia.
But as many of migrants may tell you from their personal experience, finding a job in Australia is rather challenging, Especially for young people from a culturally diverse background.
If you too are finding it difficult to find a job, you are not alone.
The national unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year olds is currently 12.2 per cent. Out of this, 25 per cent of all young people in Australia are either from a refugee or migrant background.
Young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds face additional disadvantages in terms of earning and occupational attainment.
And here’s why. The reasons are varied but here are the main barriers to multicultural youth employment.
REASON 1: Low levels of English language proficiency.
English fluency plays an important role in your pursuit of employment in Australia. Experts suggest mentioning your IELTS score to prove your English Proficiency may help in your application.
Alternatively, If you aren’t confident about your English language skills, you can brush up your skills through a course.
REASON 2: Experience discrimination in looking for work and in interview and selection processes.
Nadine Liddy, who serves as the National Coordinator for the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network Australia (MYAN), which is the national peak body on multicultural youth issues says, "Racism and discrimination in the labour market...There are often stories about young people who choose a more Anglo sounding name on a CV and they are more likely to get a job interview. And some of that racism and discrimination is more structural and some of it is much more abduce."
An interesting parliamentary debate is taking place right now in Canada on name-based discrimination and promoting name-blind resumes as a solution. Amit Sarwal talks to Usman W. Chohan, who is researching on economic policy reforms at UNSW (Canberra) and has extensive experience in private, public and academia sector policy making.
REASON 3: Lack of relevant occupational skills or evidence of past experience.
This includes limited work experience and lack of recognition of prior learning and qualifications. These issues result in people from ethnic backgrounds mostly taking up informal and casual work within their own communities like being employed at a corner store, fastfood chains, local community businesses where often no experience or English language skills are needed.
REASON 4:Limited knowledge around Australian systems, workplace culture and how to get a job.
Career Experts suggest that its beneficial to speak to peers who have lived in Australia for a long time to learn the local Australian system of finding employment. Often tips you receive from friends, family from their own personal experiences can help you moving in the right direction.
Another important tip is to volunteer. MYAN ‘s Nadine Liddy advises young people to apply for volunteer work or internships as a way to enter the job market. Please be mindful that this is different from unpaid work.
REASON 5:Lack of social networks
Being new to the country can be daunting. Lack of social network too plays an important role in not being able to find work.
Several resources available online can be the first step to finding work. The Victorian Government’s Youth Central website contains jobs and career advice including resume writing skills and how to apply for jobs. (www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au)
The myfuture website is a job search portal providing advice on occupations, courses, industries and companies. (http://myfuture.edu.au)