The enduring trend facing youth is an unemployment rate roughly twice the national average. Until we see a change, we'll know nothing is being done differently enough to solve the problem. We need more than just a change in the type of solutions being proposed. I think it's time we rephrase the questions we're asking when it comes to youth unemployment strategies.
While you were hard at work last semester studying and preparing for exams, the Government of Canada was busy, aggressively trying to attract foreign youth to Canada to work this summer. In the next two months a small army of ambitious youth from all the world will arrive in our airports. They will be issued an open work permit, and they will immediately begin to apply for the jobs you may have wanted this summer.
With persistent cold weather and snow still blanketing much of Canada and the United States, it's hard to even contemplate summer -- let alone a summer job. However, many college and university students are already actively seeking summer employment to help pay for the next year's tuition or add some experience to their resume. If you haven't started the summer job search yet, now is a good time to start.
Canada needs to step back and do a serious rethink of the training and employment support system. As part of the Canada Job Grant proposal, Minister Kenney has argued we need to "stop doing training for the sake of training." He's right. Yet we don't really know yet what works and what does not work.
My son couldn't wait to turn 16 because it meant he could finally get a job. He has applied to McDonalds three times, Tim Hortons twice, KFC, Cineplex twice, No Frills, Loblaws, golf courses (to do anything), coffee shops, Canadian Tire, FreshCo, Pizza Pizza, Wonderland, and City of Toronto. What I keep hearing from people is that my son is lacking the most essential of life skills -- the powerful network.