High youth unemployment hurts everyone but at-risk youth suffer the most. To fight this, we developed a Youth Employment Campaign (YEC) in the spring of 2015. Bringing together diverse voices, including youth, employers, and community allies, we held a youth employment forum called Real Talk to Real Action. The experiences of attendees helped shape a strategy to improve the ability of young people to find real, lasting employment.
St. Stephen’s Board Advocacy Committee was thrilled in July to meet with MPP Han Dong, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities (responsible for the Youth Employment Fund) to discuss our campaign and the new Youth Job Connection program.
The result from grassroots initiatives such as YEC? The province has renewed the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy - investing an additional $250 million to provide employment and skills development opportunities for up to 150,000 youth. The outgoing Youth Employment Fund (YEF) now has its successor – Youth Job Connection.
Our Youth Employment Campaign will now shift its focus to holding government accountable for Youth Job Connection program design. We will make sure that this program truly serves youth facing multiple and complex barriers to employment!
YEC will continue under the St. Stephen’s Youth Council. Our Youth Action Coordinator, Kemet Bahlibi, will be supporting this exciting endeavour. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 416 925-2103 x4234.