[Sub ID 4544] Work skills for young migrants (African Australian Multicultural Employment And Youth Services)

Submission ID: 4544
Organisation name: African Australian Multicultural Employment And Youth Services
Contact name: Dr Berhan Ahmed
State: VIC
Contact email: harmony@aameys.com.au
Contact number: 0405479275

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
According to the CEOs of McDonald Restaurant franchise (Chris Carroll chris@carrollgroup.com.au and Chris Lee <chris.lee@nezcopicgroup.com) in Melbourne’s western suburbs, migrants and refugees lack work culture. Getting and holding down a job – and getting a better job when the opportunity arises – means being able to work in the way that business wants and expects. It’s known as work culture. All countries and communities have a work culture. Hours and days of work vary, and so do such benefits as holidays and insurance coverage.

The mainstream “Australian Work Culture” often is different from the work culture where many of Australia’s migrants & refugees come from. Most businesses work for certain hours, and so do their workers with starting work on time. That will be the prime ingredient in the agreement made between the employer and the employee. The first rule of any employment contract is that if you can’t get to work on time, you give your employer as much warning as you can. If you neglect to do that, your job will be at risk – rightly if you continue to not get to work on time. Same with leaving work if there is a pressing need. Thus by allowing refugee youth opportunity to be mentored in a practical small business environment for 3 – 6 months under supervision by small Business support staff working with small businesses.

What is your idea?
This idea is for a program to work with employers, particularly those in the African-Australian communities, and job seekers of African background in order to promote a culture of “Australian work culture” orientation.

Young people of African background are the most challenged in Australia in employment, with typically about a 50% unemployment rate. This also applies to parents. The problem identified by the community is that the young people not only have no experience, but often very little idea of the expectations and demands of work culture. The employers also have no idea of the size of the gap between their expectations and what the youth know. This is a bi-level program. Completely inexperienced and untrained young people will be matched with employers that are culturally aware and sympathetic. If they have more experience, we will place them with mainstream businesses. Some wage payment will be made, to encourage participation and because the growing culture of unpaid work experience can be particularly exploitative to people from dis-empowered communities and is seen by them in that light.

These problems are well identified both by research and by the very extensive personal experience that we have had with these people and communities.