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CivicAction works to address youth unemployment

Published in the Emery Village Voice 

Imagine a region where all young people thrive, and where their talents and drive contribute to the regional economy. Unfortunately, 83,000 youth in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) aged 15-24 are not engaged in education, employment or training.

Unemployment in our region is disproportionately high among some groups who face multiple barriers to employment. Meanwhile, many employers – including companies in Emery Village –have open entry-level jobs that could be perfect for youth. The challenge is connecting employers’ needs with youth who need jobs.

That’s where a new CivicAction initiative comes in. 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, CivicAction launched its Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers initiative, collaborating with a large tent of players – government, private sector and not-for profit – to break down the barriers that prevent youth and employers from connecting. By engaging small and medium-sized businesses, bringing job opportunities into the open, closing the skills gap, and connecting youth with role models, CivicAction is making the job market more transparent and giving new networks to youth who currently don’t have them. Many private sector companies have stepped up and joined our Youth Champions Council, including RBC, TD, and Accenture.

CivicAction has met with small and medium-sized businesses through roundtables on how to get opportunities with these businesses out in the open. Almost 90% of private-sector jobs are related to small and medium-sized businesses, so they’re a key part of the solution to youth unemployment. CivicAction is calling on more employers to commit to posting their jobs publicly and hiring youth outside their networks, especially youth facing barriers.

Read the full article here.