Young Australian's Education and Employment Transitions: Comparing Young Immigrants' Wellbeing to Their Native Australian Peers.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 12 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Alison CHILDS, University of Canberra, Australia
Previous research indicates that, in Australia, educational achievement among immigrants at age 15 is, on average, equivalent to or slightly higher than that of students of long standing Australian heritage. However, these averages hide wide variation in achievement within the immigrant student population. Even with this variation, post-school study rates are higher for young immigrants compared to native Australians. Although Human Capital Theory suggests that increased education should lead to improved likelihood of employment, rates of unemployment are higher among immigrants. Given that improving lifetime wellbeing is a core aim of the Australian Government’s settlement policy, examining levels of well-being of young immigrants as they transition between education and employment and/ or tertiary study has important policy implications. In this paper, I present findings from analysis of data collected by the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth project. My research questions examine whether young immigrants differ from their native Australian peers in terms of their education, employment and engagement outcomes as well as their levels of well-being. I also examine differences between migrant groupings based on country of origin. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, I construct a comprehensive model to identify various factors in education to employment transitions for young immigrants to Australia. Additional variables based on social capital, cultural capital and psychological approaches are tested to determine if they provide additional explanatory power across comparison groups.