An astounding ten percent of youth, aged 15-24 in the greater Toronto-Hamilton area are not in education, employment or training.
That’s 83,000 possibly adrift youth with little understanding of what possibilities await them, where best to begin that search, facing barriers associated with racism, poverty, recent immigration, and lack of familial networks or job market know-how others take for granted.
Toronto as a whole has a youth unemployment rate over 20%. The numbers erode further as you factor in race: 28% for black youth, 25% for Aboriginal youth, 24% for South Asians and Chinese youth, and 27% for Korean youth. (Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey)
As of July 14, 2014, the national youth uneployment rate is 13.2%. How does that compare to some of our trading partners? While Germany at 7.8% and Japan at 7.2% fare much better, the US at 13.6%, France at 22.4% and UK at 17.7%, are staring at a lost generation of students and college or university graduates with stifling student debt and little hope in putting to practice their areas of study.
Facing pressure from 1) business segment that abdicated its responsibilities in training and development in the name of cost savings and a just-in-time hire expected to ready-set-go-on-the-first-day, and 2) provinces’ alarm at the rate of unpaid internships for youth seeking practical experience, Ottawa responded with a $40 million internship program earlier this year.
The national internship program for 3000 post-secondary students interested in pursuing a career in STEM and skilled trades, provides for fully-paid internships for a six to twelve month period. The government is counting on business stepping forward and hiring these students once their paid-for training and learning is complete.
Continue reading Escalator Allows Canadian Business to Reverse a Disturbing Canadian Economic Trend, Youth Unemployment