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Civic leaders tackle youth unemployment: Goar

Published in the Toronto Star
Written by Carol Goar

Youth unemployment is such a stubborn challenge that it has stymied presidents, defied prime ministers and left bureaucrats wringing their hands.

They have studied the problem endlessly and announced innumerable programs, but the rate — roughly double the national average — has scarcely budged in 15 years.

Educators have become increasingly market-oriented. But they can’t tailor courses to the requirements of individual companies or anticipate employment trends.

Social activists have developed an extensive network of services for unemployed youth: how to find job vacancies, how to write an effective resumé, how to prepare for a job interview, even how to dress appropriately. But they can’t open corporate doors.

This week, CivicAction, a coalition of Torontonians created to tackle the city’s most intractable problems, stepped to the fore. What was refreshing about its approach is that the urban alliance didn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, didn’t raise unrealistic expectations and didn’t try to dazzle people with its originality or grandiloquent rhetoric.

It put forward a plain-language 10-point action plan entitled “Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers.”

Read the full article here.