How the Labour Market Works

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The How the Labour Market Works initiative is focused on promoting varying career paths and entry level positions to youth and those entering the workforce. The key goal is to help youth, and those who support them, to better understand that the types of jobs and salaries available in their first position provide valuable skills and connections that can support them as they work toward their initial career goal.  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 and those entering the workforce.

The overall goal for this project is to provide young people, parents and the broader community with materials which support a better understanding of why entry level employment is a necessary career step. Our focus was to look at opportunities to gain skills (volunteering, youth clubs, experiential placements) and paid employment (summer jobs, part-time work and co-ops) to show that all of these experiences are valuable stops on of their own career paths.

The resulting materials focus on the question “Where will You Start?” and 6 examples have been developed with the assistance of education, the local community futures and Employment Ontario. These 6 youth have different interests and some are more concrete than others. Each has a different path that emerges for them which leads to jobs/careers in 6 different areas. The resulting materials have a gaming feel to them which was developed after consultations with local youth.

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Logan isn’t sure what he wants to do when it comes to his career.   He graduates high school and researches programs funded through Employment Ontario.  He starts a job in fast food and likes making his customers happy.  He secures a second part-time job as a host at a high end restaurant where his boss recognizes his talent and asks if he would like to train as a full-time server.

Logan ultimately lands a job in customer service.

To find out more about programs funded through Employment Ontario follow the links below.

Employment Ontario:

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Fatima is in Grade 11 and wonders if a skilled trade is right for her.  She enrolls in a dual credit program over the summer, loving it, she registers with the OYAP program for grade 12.  Two years later her employer recommends her to a friend. She does a co-op placement with an electrician & after school she works in the office to learn the business.

Fatima eventually lands a job as an electrical apprentice.

For more information on high school experiential programs and skilled trades, follow the links below


Lee loves building things but leaves school in grade 11.  He finds work as a roofing helper. Years later, he wants to be a roofer and pursues his high school diploma.  Lee keeps his job while taking evening academic upgrading.  He gets his GED and his employer signs him up as a roofing apprentice.

For more information about apprenticeship follow the links below

Apprentice Search

LBS/ Getting your high school/Upgrading your skills

Skilled Trades

Earn While You Learn


Carl wants to be in fashion retail and loves design.  He gets a job landscaping for the summer.  The landscaper’s neighbour owns a clothing boutique.  Carl works at the boutique and volunteers at community fashion shows for two years.  He meets a fashion merchandiser at the shop who asks him what he’s doing after college.

Carl ultimately lands a job as a clothing buyer.

Find information about summer jobs, postsecondary programs and volunteering by clicking the links below

Canada Summer Jobs

Volunteer Action Centre of Waterloo Region

The People and Information Network (Guelph-Wellington)

Volunteer Dufferin

Applying to College


Alexa wants to work in agriculture.  Her friend from 4-H asks her to help on their farm.  She explores her options in a general Agriculture program at university.  Alexa gets a summer job as a barn hand and realizes she loves working with animals.  Her university program offers an option to major in Animal Sciences.

Alexa graduates and lands a job as a nutritionist at a feed mill.

For information about youth engagement organizations, summer jobs and agricultural postsecondary programs follow the links below 


Gurleen wants to do something with kids but isn’t sure what.  She works at summer day camps and explores her options in a Human Services foundations program.  She takes the early childhood educator program and goes on field placement.  Her program offers an option to go on to a Bachelor of Education degree.

Gurleen is on her way to a job working with kids.

Find information about summer jobs and the variety of post-secondary programs by following the links below

Canada Summer Jobs

Applying to College

Applying to University

Key Partners

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