It turns out Drake’s lyric “Started from the bottom now we’re here” could be the best advice for young people and youth entering the workforce. In December 2019, the unemployment rate for the 15-24 year-old age group was 9.7% in Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge which is more than double the unemployment rate for 25 years and older (4.2%). 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 those who support them, to better understand that the types of jobs and salaries available in their first position will be invaluable for their initial 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.
Click here for more on the "How the Labour Market Works" initiative.