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CivicAction’s plan for unemployed youth warrants strong business and government support: Editorial

Published in the Toronto Star

They aren’t just missing a pay day. The estimated 83,000 Toronto-area young people currently not in a job, school, or training also lack any serious expectation of a better future.

Instead of being on a path moving forward too many are adrift — burdened by hopelessness that saps their self-esteem, feeds despair, and magnifies their social isolation. This makes high levels of youth unemployment caustic to individuals, and to society. And it’s why a new initiative meant to give young people work, direction and purpose warrants enthusiastic support.

CivicAction outlines the problem, and offers its solution, in a new report titled: Escalator — Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers. The non-profit group recommends a four-pronged approach designed to engage small and medium-sized businesses, boost young people’s skills, arrange mentorships, and make it easier for them to find jobs that do become available. It’s an eminently practical effort to meet a compelling need.

About 10 per cent of youth between 15 and 24 years of age are currently “stuck in limbo” — not participating in employment, education or training — according to authors of the report. That adds up to 83,000 in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton. And many face the added hurdle of discrimination.

Read the full article here.