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Students & Youth

Resources for career professionals working with NEET youth

Young people who are not in education, employment or training make up the NEET population. The age bracket of this group includes people under 30 who struggle to enter or remain in the labour market because of multiple barriers. The International Labour Organization reports that youth exclusion from jobs and training is on the rise globally. According to Statistics Canada, about 11% of Canadians aged 15 to 29 are not in employment, education or training. Here are a few resources on contextual data, government programs and organizations that career professionals can use to help young jobseekers succeed.

International Labour Organization (ILO) [Article, video and report]

This article includes a video that provides global context for the rising numbers of the NEET demographic. A March 2020 report by the ILO found that young people face an uncertain future in the labour market because of automation, the narrow focus of much vocational training and the lack of jobs to match their qualifications.

Statistics Canada [Factsheet]

Statistics Canada provides a comprehensive fact sheet about the NEET population in Canada based on three age groups usually considered when examining the transition from school to work (young people aged 15 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 29).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [Data]

The OECD’s data indicator provides a global perspective by including populations from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australasia. It presents the share of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) as a percentage of the total number of young people in the corresponding age group, by gender.

Needs of NEET youth: Pathways to positive outcomes [Report]

This report, produced by Queen’s University, was conducted by the Social Program Evaluation Group (SPEG) as a part of a three-year evaluation of the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program. It describes the evidence on the needs and barriers of NEET youth and the intended program responses in and across Canada.

Finding Their Path: What Youth Not In Employment, Education or Training (NEET) Want (Labour Market Information Council) [Report]

Among the findings of this report:

  • Most Canadians aged 16 to 29 who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET) are typically in transition as they look for work or wait for school to start.
  • One out of every five NEET youth wants to figure out what career to pursue within the next 12 months.
  • The main challenges NEET youth face in finding suitable work is lack of experience and an absence of job opportunities in their area.
  • Family-related obligations are why close to one-third of women aged 16 to 29 (32%) are NEET compared with 5% of men.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) – Funding programs (Government of Canada)

YESS is Canada’s flagship strategy to help young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. It provides funding for programs across various sectors, as cited in other resources below.

Employment programs for people under 30 (Government of Ontario)

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development provides links to summer jobs, paid internships and skills training.

Ontario Works Training Programs in Toronto

This list on the City of Toronto’s website includes training courses to help jobseekers prepare for employment, self-employment or career advancement. Program participants receive $250/month for training-related expenses plus $142/month for transportation to attend classes.

Digital Skills for Youth Program (Government of Canada)

This program connects underemployed post-secondary graduates with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations where they can gain meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment. It is part of the YESS program.

First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) (Government of Canada)

The FNIYES is part of the Government of Canada’s effort to enhance education, participation in the labour market and economic success of Indigenous people in Canada. It is a component of the YESS initiative.

Green Jobs in Natural Resources (Government of Canada)

To help young Canadians start their career, Natural Resources Canada is investing in green jobs in natural resources through the Science and Technology Internship Program, which is also linked to the YESS program.

ReBrand: Career & Employment Initiative for Youth in Alberta

The initiative, featured on MCG Careers website, provides youth in Alberta with an opportunity to develop essential life and career skills. Participants work through a series of program modules that aid in career planning, education planning, stress management, job search, networking and much more.

SEED Youth Employment Program (Douglas College)

SEED (Sustainable Employment & Environmental Directions) is a program funded by the BC government to help unemployed youth in the lower mainland find and keep a full-time job.

International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) (Government of Canada)

IYIP is another component of YESS. It offers Canadian youth the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad in the field of international development and to acquire skills that will prepare them for future employment or further their studies. Internships are offered through different Canadian partner organizations across 45 countries.

Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) (Government of Canada)

YEP is a 24-week program that offers promising youth entrepreneurs access to business training, resources and financial support for the best chance of success in their own new company or self-employment. It is part of Job Skills’ Programs and Services.

Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (CCYP)

CCYP is a national, cross-sector collaboration that drives co-ordination and boosts the infrastructure that supports the youth workforce development ecosystem.

Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities for Youth (SALTO-YOUTH)

SALTO-YOUTH is a network of seven Resource Centres working on European priority areas within the youth field. As part of the European Commission’s Training Strategy, SALTO-YOUTH provides tools and non-formal learning resources for youth workers and youth leaders and organizes training and contact-making activities to support organizations. It also produced a research publication and video about NEET issues.

Youth Employment Services (YES)

YES offers innovative programs that empower disadvantaged and vulnerable youth to become self-sufficient contributing members of society.  It also provides services to employers including a wage subsidy and pre-screening of candidates, and has online resources on topics such as resumes, cover letters, references and interviewing.

Youth Employment Toolkit (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness)

This toolkit is designed for shelters, housing providers, youth-serving agencies and other organizations concerned about homeless and at-risk youth in Canada. It outlines some ideas for a youth employment project for at-risk youth and is designed to create a model that is flexible and adaptable. The case studies and resource materials are based on the Train for Trades program at Choices for Youth in St. John’s.

Projects on youth employment (ILO) [Case studies]

The ILO presents global examples of apprenticeships, programs and advocacy in youth employment.

Adventures in Career Development [Blog]

Tristram Hooley, a British careers expert, shares his experience in career development and planning for youth in Hong Kong as well as commentary on England’s NEET policy.

What support works best for young people at risk of NEET? (ideas4careers) [Article]

This article offers ideas on how career advisers can provide effective support for helping young people transition from school to the workplace.

Effective outreach to NEETS – Experience from the ground (European Commission) [Report]

This report looks at measures to better reach out to young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training, and to encourage them to register for youth employment schemes across Europe.

Not So NEET: A Critical Policy Analysis of Ontario’s Youth Job Connection Program (Wilfrid Laurier University) [Report]

This report finds that the positive youth development model taken up by Youth Job Connection is failing to meet the needs of Ontario’s young people. Ultimately, it argues, the positive youth development model can be seen as a form of social control under the guise of youth development, as it seeks to funnel young people into neoliberal ideals of what a citizen should be.

The NEET challenge: What can be done for jobless and disengaged youth? (OECD) [Report]

This chapter in the OECD’s report, Society at a Glance 2016, provides historical context and the raises questions on interventions to advance youth employment.

Empowering a new generation (PWC) [Report]

This report looks at youth employment metrics from OECD countries in 2015 and how this untapped demographic can contribute to economic prosperity.

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Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
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