Implications of COVID-19 on Youth Employment and Educational Pathways

The Report

Youth often find navigating the right educational and career path challenging. They want to earn what they see as fair wages that will allow them to support themselves and their families. This disconnect between what is the right path and what is out there has resulted in a lot of frustration and in some cases, youth are disconnecting from the workplace which makes re-entry difficult. Add a pandemic that has shifted the whole workplace, accelerated some trends and made employment harder to secure in some industries and it can be very daunting for someone trying to make educational and career decisions. What jobs will still be around? What employers are hiring? And who can help me figure this all out or am I on my own?

The onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic is having an unprecedented influence on the ability of youth to find employment and complete their educational pathways. Mental health, financial issues, layoffs for the least experienced employees, closures and the struggle of some industries are some of the reasons that have been identified as factors preventing youth from gaining employment.

From an early onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many reports concluded that youth were one of the most affected groups, along with females and low-wage workers. Therefore, the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin decided to explore what was happening with youth and their employment and identify barriers and challenges affecting youth groups that are struggling. The findings of this research project are now available in the report below.

Full report

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F

Technical Summary Report


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