Escalator Timeline


  • 2012 – The Province released Ontario’s Youth Action Plan, which included a commitment to work with the private sector to see how to break down barriers to employment and mentorship.
  • 2013 – The Government of Ontario partnered with CivicAction to identify ways the private sector can contribute to tackling unemployment among youth facing barriers. We consulted with over 800 employers, youth, community agencies and governments to better understand the problem and the barriers facing these youth.
  • September 2014 – CivicAction launched the Escalator initiative and released the Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers Report, our roadmap for multi-sector action and identified four actions to tackle through three strategic pilots. Photos from the Escalator launch event are on our Flickr page.
  • November 2014 – NPower Canada, our employer-driven training pilot, launched its first cohort of students.
  • July 2015 – CivicAction and LinkedIn hosted YouthConnect, bringing together 250 youth workers from 90 organizations to learn how to use 21st century job search tools to support their clients. Photos from YouthConnect are on our Flickr page.
  • September 2015 – CivicAction published Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers – Reaching the Next Level of Opportunity, a summary of our progress to date in launching scalable pilots to address the issue of youth unemployment.
  • September 2015 – CivicAction, United Way of Toronto and York Region, and launched netWORKS, a career-oriented networking and mentoring program for youth facing barriers to employment. Photos from the netWORKS launch event are on our Flickr page.
  • June 2016 – CivicAction begins to develop a suite of tools to better support employers to recruit, hire, retain and develop youth facing barriers to employment within their organizations.
  • July 2016 – CivicAction, in partnership with LinkedIn Canada, the Ryerson Career Centre and the City of Toronto hosted the second YouthConnect conference. This event brought together nearly 400 attendees including front-line youth workers, youth facing barriers to employment, and employers for hands-on training on how to build a digital network.
  • July 2016 – CivicAction began a series of consultations with employers across Ontario, to talk about obstacles and best practices to hire and retain young people facing barriers to employment.
  • October 2016 – In partnership with H&M, Starbucks Canada, RBC, Real Food for Real Kids, Starwood Hotels & Resorts (now Marriott), and our pro bono consulting team at KPMG, CivicAction’s Escalator team has set out to transform hiring practices in the private sector. By taking a look at the unintentional barriers that exist in hiring youth facing barriers, we’ve started piloting ways to remove roadblocks that prevent youth from being hired.
  • August 2017 – On August 18th, over 250 youth workers and youth gathered at YouthConnect 2017 to get hands-on training from LinkedIn staff and other experts on how to connect to people and opportunities online. The youth workers that attended have the potential to teach over 10,000 youth this year alone on how to build and leverage an online network. Find out more here.