Lower Youth Unemployment Rate in Ontario
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Lower Youth Unemployment Rate: Place Job Developers in all Ontario High Schools
Youth want to work
The 12.9 % Unemployment Rate for Canadian Youth is unacceptably high, and Ontario's own Youth Unemployment is rated one of the worst in the country.
Ontario Secondary Schools currently provide a mandatory Careers Course to all Grade 10 students, which includes job exploration, resume writing, and interview skills. Minister of Education, Mitzi Hunter, has also announced that a modernization to the curriculum will see the inclusion of Financial Literacy Skills. All are important foundational skills, but seem to be having little impact on the rising Youth Unemployment Rate.
Ontario is also providing some employment services, designed specifically for youth, in the community. Services include job development, job coaching, access to diverse job banks and employment workshops which address both hard and soft work skills.
However, a major gap in services exists because Ontario Youth cannot be two places at once. They can't attend school and an employment workshop at the same time. Community based services are simply inaccessible to youth who plan to stay in school. The Provincial Government needs to help Ontario Secondary Schools bridge the gap by developing partnerships, with established employment services. To improve access for all youth to employment supports, and address unemployment rates, an Employment Service’s - Job Developer position needs to be added to the range of career and pre-employment courses available onsite at high schools.
The High school’s Job Developer Role would further enhance the Grade 10 Careers Course Curriculum, by focusing on obtaining and retaining work, and expand to include students Grade 10-12. Recognizing that not all students are job seekers, the Job Developer would be introduced to the students during the Careers Course, but would be voluntarily accessed for employment support, much like a Guidance Counsellor. The Careers Teacher, the Guidance Counsellor and the Job Developer would all have separate responsibilities but would work together as a team to fully support individual students.
Action is needed now to reduce Youth Unemployment. The Provincial Government needs to support the implementation of Job Development/Employment Services within the education system. Bridge the Gap.
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