The unemployment numbers released last week continue to show youth unemployment as the highest of all age groups. For January 2020 the unemployment rate for the 15-24 year-old age group was 9.1% in Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge which is nearly double the unemployment rate for 25 years and older (4.6%). A local partnership is focused on promoting varying career paths and entry level positions to youth and those entering the workforce in order to tap into this available talent pool. The key goal of the “How the Labour Market Works” initiative is to help youth, and their parents, to better understand the types of jobs and salaries available in their first position and how taking that first job can help their overall career.
“We are hoping to engage the younger age group and their parents or guardians to let them know that taking an entry level position can take them to endless possibilities when it comes to career pathways,” says Charlene Hofbauer, Executive Director with the Workforce Planning Board. “It’s important to show youth that there is value in entry-level positions and opportunities and that the skills and experiences you gain, as well as the people you meet, can contribute to that bigger career goal”.
The Business and Education Partnership of Waterloo Region is an organization that helps youth better understand and prepare for the world of work by creating learning opportunities with local employers and industry professionals.
“Seventy-percent of Canadian high school students say that they don’t receive up to date information on career pathways and job opportunities from their school. As a result, their expectations for levels of pay and responsibility can cause dissatisfaction when they enter the job market. This project aims to help them understand what they can gain from entry level work, so that this experience can be empowering rather than demoralizing” says Business and Education Partnership Executive Director Scott Verhoeve.
The partner organizations involved in the “How the Labour Market Works” initiative have developed a marketing concept which is focused on promoting these varying career paths to youth, those entering the workforce and students as young as grade 8. These materials will be used in social media campaigns and during events such as job and educational fairs.