On November 18th, Imagine Canada’s policy team will launch the convening of a working group to study the issue of youth employment in the charitable and nonprofit sector.
While youth face barriers to employment within the labour market generally, it has become evident that this is of particular concern for our sector. A recent blog post by our own Emily Cordeaux highlights some of these challenges, and demonstrates that sector-generated solutions are possible.
The federal government is currently working on plans for a new youth employment strategy in order to deliver in keeping with on several commitments that have been made. Among other activities, our working group will identify policy recommendations on how the sector should be included in the implementation of the government’s plans on this file.
With a labour force of over 2 million employees, the charitable sector must be considered in any discussion pertaining to the national issue of youth employment. Charities and nonprofits also face somewhat unique challenges and contexts when it comes to offering youth secure and full-time employment.
With that said, we are well-positioned to offer youth meaningful jobs - we equip youth with skills and knowledge to tackle some of the most challenging issues of our time. We are a diverse group of employers in all areas of the country, providing opportunities where people want to live, and we work with and often employ individuals from marginalized communities. For the government, there is definite value added in working with us to ensure youth can obtain sustainable employment within our sector.
The group is composed of talented advisors working in labour, charitable umbrella and youth serving organizations, bringing together many years of personal experience, work on this issue within organizations, and expertise with federal policy.
The group will focus on three key areas:
Continue to identify barriers to employment for youth and other entry-level workers
Make recommendations on how policy and programs can be improved upon or created at the level of federal government
Offer recommendations to sector organizations on what they can do to help address this issue
There are many tensions inherent in this issue, such as the complexities made possible by the various funding realities we confront as charities. With that said, we are well-positioned as creative, adaptable, and compassionate groups to do what we can to work within the constraints imposed on us to ensure that youth are offered meaningful, secure, and long-term work as they work with us to achieve our missions. In fact, the future well-being of the sector may well depend on it.
Stay tuned for updates on the group’s work.
List of advisors
Amber Dukart | Interdisciplnary Studies (Undergraduate Program) | University of British Columbia
Amy Kishek | Executive Director | Canadian Intern Association
Beverly Blanchard | Senior Manager – Strategic Policy, Partnership & Planning, Labour Market Development | NWAC
Brittany Andrew Amofah | Political Management (Master’s Program) | Carleton University
Jackie Hall | Projects and Programs Manager | YWCA
Jeff Surridge | Vice-President of the Board | First Work
Jennifer Holmes Weier | SVP Advocacy, Communications & Public Policy | YMCA
Jesse Clarke | Director, Government Partnerships | Pathways to Education
Justin Ho | Strategic Director | Vancouver Divison of Family Practice
Mario R. Gravelle | Director, Granting and Strategic Initiatives | The Counselling Foundation of Canada
Rachel Gouin | Director, Research abd Policy | Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Rann Sharma | Head, People Operations and Culture | WE Charity
Sara Lyons | Vice President | Community Foundations Canada
Sydney Ducharme | Policy Analyst | NWAC