Recent News

A youth’s guide to the digital galaxy: CivicAction and LinkedIn teach digital job search skills at YouthConnect 2017

TORONTO, August 18, 2017 – There are currently over 80,000 young people in the Greater Toronto Region that are not employed or enrolled in school who could be filling a significant skills and labour gap, as outlined in LinkedIn Canada’s latest Workforce Report. But many youth lack the personal and professional networks needed to open that first door to employment. Today at YouthConnect 2017, over 200 youth and youth workers will gather to change this by getting hands-on training from LinkedIn staff and other experts on how to connect to people and opportunities online.

YouthConnect is delivered by the CivicAction Leadership Foundation and LinkedIn Canada in partnership with Ryerson University and the City of Toronto. The event equips attendees with tools and resources to help youth facing barriers to employment leverage their existing experience and skills and start to grow their professional network online. In addition to training, expert panels and networking, attendees will hear from keynote speaker Cher Jones, Social Media Trainer and Personal Branding Expert.

“Our region is filled with countless youth whose potential is currently untapped by employers,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “Part of the problem is that 90 per cent of employers are using online tools to recruit, but youth are missing in action on these platforms – YouthConnect is bridging this gap.”

With 85% of all hires made through networking, the event’s innovative train-the-trainer model has a “multiplier effect”. The youth workers and employment counsellors in attendance have the potential to pass along what they’ve learned about building and leveraging an online network to over 10,000 youth.

“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce,” said Jonathan Lister, VP, LinkedIn Canada. “YouthConnect is bringing us one step closer to that vision by helping to ensure that Canada’s youth, and those who work with them, have the resources they need to reach their fullest potential.”

Training youth on using platforms like LinkedIn is only one piece of the puzzle in tackling the issue of youth unemployment. Major employers will also attend YouthConnect and learn about youthful solutions to their hiring and retention needs and hear from other employers like Starbucks Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on the youth-inclusive practices they have put in place.

“RBC believes our workforce should reflect our communities,” said Zabeen Hirji, Special Advisor at RBC and Chair of CivicAction’s Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers initiative. “Tapping into diverse, young talent is a way to achieve this and YouthConnect helps build the channels to make connections between youth and employers.”


Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

Special thanks to YouthConnect Event Partners, RBC and EY.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Sarah Harris
Senior Director, Integrated Communications and Public Affairs
(416) 827-4541

YouthConnect is a CivicAction Leadership Foundation event associated with CivicAction’s Escalator initiative, which connects youth facing barriers to employment with jobs, through collaboration with the public, private and non-profit sectors.

About CivicAction: For over a decade, CivicAction has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of the Greater Toronto Region’s toughest challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships and launches campaigns, programs, and organizations that transform our region. To find out more visit or follow @CivicActionGTHA. Building on a decade of high-impact and award-winning leadership programming, CivicAction launched the CivicAction Leadership Foundation to further elevate and catalyze our region’s leadership potential. With a focus on advancing education, the Foundation harnesses the power of diverse leaders and empowers and activates all voices to influence and shape our region. For more information visit

About LinkedIn: LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 400 million members and has offices around the globe.


Share this page: