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English Skills and Early Labour Market Integration of Humanitarian Migrants

Zhiming Cheng, Ben Zhe Wang (), Zhou Jiang, Lucy Taksa and Max Tani
Additional contact information
Ben Zhe Wang: Macquarie University, Sydney
Zhou Jiang: NILS, Flinders University
Lucy Taksa: Macquarie University, Sydney

No 13728, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We use the panel data from the Building a New Life in Australia survey to examine the relationships between proficiency in English and labour market outcomes among humanitarian migrants. Having better general or speaking skills in English is certainly associated with a higher propensity for participation in the labour force and getting a job. However, we also find that, compared to other domains of English proficiency, such as listening, reading and writing, proficiency in English speaking skills has been the least improved domain for humanitarian migrants' who have participated in an English training program. Our paper explores the channels leading to these outcomes, finding that self-esteem, self-efficacy and general health partially mediate the relationship between English proficiency and labour force participation. We also find that self-efficacy, general health and indicative serious mental illness partially mediate the relationship between better English proficiency and the chance of getting a job.

Keywords: labour force participation; proficiency in English; humanitarian migrant; Australia; employment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 I26 J24 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-isf and nep-mig
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Forthcoming in: International Migration, 2021

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