Imagine Canada

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Advocacy win: Federal Government’s Youth Employment Expert Panel releases report, includes focus on nonprofit sector

Monday, June 5, 2017

“Nonprofits offer challenging and meaningful work experience for young people.”

Imagine Canada core messaging reflected in Expert Panel report

Last year, ESDC announced the creation of an expert panel to study the state of youth employment in Canada. Imagine Canada’s Youth Employment Working Group has been advocating for the inclusion of a sector lens in their analysis and recommendations, and on this we were heard!

On Thursday, June 1, the panel tabled their long-anticipated report, 13 Ways to Modernize Youth Employment in Canada. The report implores the government address what they’ve referred to as “the quiet crisis”, emphasizing that Canada faces potentially devastating consequences in the absence of comprehensive action. The Expert Panel report reflects our core message that nonprofits offer challenging and meaningful work for young people and also acknowledges some of the challenges our sector faces.

Key among the recommendations…

  • That the government create a cross-sectoral Advisory Committee - with representation from the nonprofit sector - to advise on federal policy and programming
  • The creation of an employer roundtable with representation from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to establish a hiring goal that includes a special focus on vulnerable youth
  • That the government remain aware in their policy development that nonprofit organizations employ, and are supportive of, vulnerable youth.
  • The Panel also acknowledged our call for more flexibility for both nonprofit employers and students engaged in the Canada Summer Jobs program. The government was advised that the program evolve to become a year-round “Canada Youth Job” program, allowing part-time, full-time and non-students to participate.
  • Among stated challenges, it was noted that the sector often fills entry-level positions with young volunteers, and calls were made to revisit the federal Labour Code to “eliminate unpaid internships” and broaden EI supports for young people.

We encourage you to read the report in its entirety. We look forward to working with ESDC as it responds to these recommendations.

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