Employment & Entrepreneurship

Outcomes 10, 11, 12

Ontario wants youth to:

Making sure that youth have the skills they need to enter the workforce, get good jobs and contribute to the economy helps build a stronger Ontario for all. Ontario continued to make investments in strategies that support youth employment and entrepreneurship, including:

Strategies and Programs Supporting Outcomes

Youth Jobs Strategy

Leads: Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, and Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science

Introduced in 2013, the Youth Jobs Strategy was renewed in 2015 with an investment of $250 million over two years to provide up to 150,000 youth with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to start meaningful careers.

New in this report:


Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

New! Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy will help the province keep the competitive advantage of having one of the best‐educated talent pools in the world, and prepare more people for success in an inclusive new economy.


Aboriginal Economic Development Fund

Lead: Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Introduced as part of Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund, the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund:

New in this report:

Social Enterprise Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Economic Development and Growth

Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy (2016–2021) is supporting social enterprises that use business strategies to achieve a social or environmental impact. Across the provinces, social enterprises are reducing poverty and building stronger communities. At the same time, they are creating jobs, growing revenues and attracting investment capital.

New in this report:

Growth Plan for Northern Ontario

Lead: Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, released in 2011, outlines government priorities for Northern Ontario for a 25-year period. The plan includes policies that focus on building on the strengths and potential of today’s northerners by providing them with more education, training and career opportunities.

New in this report:

Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy was created with input from representatives of First Nations, Métis and northern communities as well as environmental non-governmental organizations, exploration and mining companies, and prospectors.

New in this report:

Strengthening Rural Communities

Lead: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Strong rural communities are the key to a strong, healthy province. The province is working with rural communities to support the growth and retention of good jobs, attract investment, promote new economic opportunities, and create opportunities for youth to develop skills and find meaningful work in their communities.

New in this report:


Safe At Work Ontario

Lead: Ministry of Labour

Safe At Work Ontario is the Ministry of Labour’s strategy for enforcing the Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect worker (including young worker) health and safety.

New in this report:


Enforcing Employment Standards and Enacting or Amending Related Laws

Lead: Ministry of Labour

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets out the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers in Ontario workplaces. The Ministry of Labour enforces and promotes awareness of employment standards (e.g., minimum wage, hours of work, and public holidays) that are in place to protect workers including youth, and new and vulnerable workers.

New in this report:

What the Data Says

Data from the Profile of Youth Wellbeing

Case Study

Silver Linings Family Circle Tuck Shop

The tuck shop gives real-life employment experience to youth.

The Silver Linings Family Circle is a group of young adults with mild intellectual disabilities and their parents. Formed in 2013, and supported by the Youth Opportunities Fund, Community Living York South, the Toronto Hong Kong Lions Club, and the March of Dimes Canada, the group operates the Silver Linings Family Circle Tuck Shop in a long-term care facility in Richmond Hill.

These parents knew that after high school, many youth with mild intellectual disabilities do not have structured options for education or employment. They came together and started the tuck shop to provide a supportive, real-life pre-employment training program for its young adult participants.

The tuck shop helps youth to identify and develop life skills that will increase their independence and self-confidence. The shop gives them a structured program to attend on a regular basis, and helps them build skills important in the shop and in other areas of their lives. Those skills include budgeting, activities of daily living and social skill development. Open seven days a week, the tuck shop gives each participant ample opportunity to work under the guidance of either a job coach or parent volunteer.

“I would rather spend my day in the shop than on vacation!”JM, Tuck Shop Helper

“I couldn’t understand money—now I can even give correct change.”JCS, Tuck Shop Helper