Imagine a region where all young people can thrive and contribute to building vibrant communities. Unfortunately, 83,000 youth in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) aged 15-24 are not engaged in education, employment, or training (NEET). Many face multiple barriers and are not plugged in, dialed up or connected. Our youth unemployment numbers are high across the board, but they are even higher for certain demographics of young people.
For over a decade, CivicAction has worked together with senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of the GTHA’s toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges. In September 2014, we launched our Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers initiative with government, private sector and not-for profit partners to catalyze collaboration that will connect young people to skills, networks, and opportunities.
One of the most significant barriers facing youth is lack of transparency of the job market. Young people need to know where jobs are, what they require, and how to get connected but it’s not easy to find that information, especially when many jobs are filled through word-of-mouth. That’s why we have been working to drive more youth to use online platforms and have been encouraging employers to post their jobs online. Platforms like LinkedIn can help employers find youth, and they can help youth showcase their strengths to a future employer. We’re doing this by training youth-serving staff on how to coach youth to use LinkedIn. For example, In July 2015, CivicAction and LinkedIn held YouthConnect with hundreds of frontline community staff, youth and employers. You can get involved by posting your jobs openly on-line and by encouraging youth to use platforms like LinkedIn.