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Employment & Entrepreneurship

Photo of an employer assisting youth in the workplace.

Starting a new business or rewarding job helps young people build their sense of identity, connects them to new people and places, and allows them to develop lifelong skills. Employed young people can better contribute to their families and their own well-being and can reduce the economic costs related to unemployment and poverty. Ontario’s workforce and job market continue to change. Ontario has focused on developing innovative strategies to ensure young people can access employment in a competitive economy. It has also sought to help employers and qualified candidates connect.

Outcomes #10, 11, 12

Ontario wants youth to:

This year, Ontario supported young people to have safe and meaningful employment and entrepreneurship opportunities by creating new programs and expanding on existing strategies. Its programs and policies have made progress in the following areas:

New in 2014–2015

Supporting Youth Employment

Photo of two female youth and one male youth at construction site.

Employment increases access to resources and can improve well-being and life outcomes for youth. This year, Ontario carried out strategies to create jobs, train youth with appropriate skills and help job seekers and employers connect. The government also developed new supports for youth who face the greatest barriers to accessing employment.

What the Data Says

Data from the 2015 Profile

  • 61.9% of youth are in the labour force.
  • 9.5% of youth are not in education, employment or training.
  • 88.6% of youth who are employed full-time are in work related to their field.

New in 2014–2015

Helping Youth Develop Skills for Work and Enterprise

Ontario’s economy, workforce and job market continues to change. As a result, the government is working to remove skills barriers, encourage entrepreneurship, and help youth to lead in innovation, and generate new ideas and perspectives. This year, Ontario supported opportunities for youth to develop the skills they will need in a changing economy.

What the Data Says

Data from the 2015 Profile

  • 1.7% of youth are self-employed.

New in 2014–2015

Ensuring Youth Work in Safe and Supportive Environments

Photo of a male youth working in a mechanical shop.

Young workers are often vulnerable workers. They are often employed in non-standard jobs such as temporary and part-time positions. They may hold service-sector jobs or internships. They may earn only the minimum wage. They may have the minimum amount of training needed to operate heavy equipment. This year, the government continued to work with employers to ensure all young workers are safe, qualified and prepared for employment in diverse areas.

Data from the 2015 Profile

  • The annual Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Lost-Time Injury (LTI) rate for youth employees was 0.93 per 100 workers in 2014.

Case Study

Hospitality Workers Training Centre

The Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) is a non-profit organization that provides hands-on vocational training for employment in Toronto’s growing hospitality industry. Training is linked to real employment needs identified by hospitality industry partners. Between 30 to 50% of the participants in the program are under the age of 30. Over 70% of participants are racialized and/or from low-income families. Participants include refugee and LGBTQ youth. A full 90% of youth in the program receive social assistance.

HWTC works with community partners across the GTA to identify, recruit and train strong candidates. It also works closely with industry partners to connect pre-screened and trained talent with the right employer. To support ongoing success, the program offers post-employment services. Those services include career development, vocational cross-training (to help students grow their careers in the sector), supervisory soft skills, English, computer skills and financial planning. With an 80% placement rate and a 70% retention rate among at-risk youth, this program is doing great work!

"I love being a houseman... I’m always on the move. It’s given me a purpose and a future." — Andre, graduate of the Hospitality Workers Training Centre

The Hospitality Workers Training Centre celebrates the graduation and achievements of its students.

The Hospitality Workers Training Centre celebrates the graduation and achievements of its students.