There are currently over 80,000 young people in the Greater Toronto Region that are not employed or enrolled in school who could be filling a significant skills and labour gap, as outlined in LinkedIn Canada’s latest Workforce Report. The problem is that youth may lack the personal and professional networks needed to land that first job and with 85% of all hires made through networking, that’s a big problem. To level the playing field, we need to put information about potential career paths and in-demand jobs right at their fingertips. As a pilot of CivicAction’s Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers Initiative, YouthConnect brings together youth that face barriers to employment, employment service providers, and employers to equip them with the digital know-how to open up the job market and better connect youth with employment opportunities.
With six interactive events since November 2014, YouthConnect has trained over 600 front-line youth workers, with the capacity to reach approximately 25,000 youth, as well as 150 youth and over 70 employers have been trained on 21st century job-search skills.
On August 18th, over 250 youth workers and youth gathered at YouthConnect 2017 to get hands-on training from LinkedIn staff and other experts on how to connect to people and opportunities online. The youth workers that attended have the potential to teach over 10,000 youth this year alone on how to build and leverage an online network. In addition to training, expert panels and networking, attendees heard from keynote speaker Cher Jones, Social Media Trainer and Personal Branding Expert and Zabeen Hirji, Special Advisor at RBC and former CHRO. Over 20 employers also attended YouthConnect 2017 and learned about youthful solutions to their hiring and retention needs from employers like Starbucks Canada and RBC. YouthConnect is delivered by the CivicAction Leadership Foundation and LinkedIn Canada in partnership with Ryerson University and the City of Toronto, and with support from our event sponsors RBC and EY.
CivicAction, LinkedIn, the Ryerson University Career Centre, and the City of Toronto hosted YouthConnect 2016 to better connect employers and young job-seekers in the GTHA. By training youth workers and employment counsellors there’s a “multiplier effect” with a potential reach of more than 2,500 youth. To find out more about what happened at YouthConnect 2016, click here. To see it all in pictures, click here.