Private Sector Jobs and Mentorship Initiative
As a part of the Enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan, we are expanding the model for private sector leadership on youth employment to communities across Ontario.

For many young people, growing up today can be tough. Many face challenges like never before and many don’t know where to turn for support.

Ontario has worked with community agencies, police and the private sector to develop more employment and entrepreneurship services and programs for youth in under-serviced areas to:

  • work constructively within their communities
  • gain confidence
  • learn new skills
  • work towards a valuable work reference

Youth in Policing Initiative

This program provides jobs for youth between the ages of 15 to 18 to work with police departments across Ontario. Youth can develop skills that could lead to a possible career in policing. Youth have an opportunity to work in a variety of areas, including information technology, forensic identification, community events and traffic safety.

Youth who are interested can contact their local police department to inquire about Youth in Policing positions that are available.

Private Sector Jobs and Mentorship Initiative

Through this initiative, Ontario has partnered with the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance to engage youth, employers, community leaders, labour and governments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. They provided support on how to increase jobs, mentorship and entrepreneurship opportunities in the private sector for at-risk youth.

CivicAction led a series of consultations to develop a strategy that can be more adapted by communities across the province to:

  • help at-risk youth overcome the barriers they face when looking for and starting a job
  • work with the private sector to provide more job and mentorship opportunities
  • encourage communities to partner with the private sector to help at-risk youth succeed

As a result of these consultations, the Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers report was developed. It recommended four key actions to connect youth facing barriers with jobs:

  • developing employer-designed training and internships to close the skills gap
  • increasing the transparency of the job market
  • engaging small and medium-sized businesses to bring job opportunities into the open
  • connecting youth with role models.

CivicAction has also facilitated the implementation of these four key actions. It is led by the private sector in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to support employment and mentorship opportunities for young people facing barriers to success. CivicAction’s work on the four key actions led to the:

  • launch of netWORKS, a youth mentorship program that helps young people who face barriers to employment to develop the professional networks they need.
  • development of NPower Canada’s training program. This program provides technical skills training, professional skills training, mentorship, paid internship and job placement support to young people.
  • launch of the digital job-finding tool Train the Trainer, in partnership with LinkedIn Canada. This tool provides youth workers the ability to build the capacity of young people they serve. Small and medium-sized businesses are also encouraged to post jobs online and with community agencies serving youth.

Studio Y: Ontario’s Social Impact and Leadership Academy

The MaRS Discovery District delivers the innovative program, Studio Y, through investments from the government. Youth aged 18 to 29, keen on contributing to their communities and building a stronger economy through social innovation, are eligible to apply.

Each year, up to 25 youth representing a range of communities and perspectives from across the province, are selected to participate. The program is eight months of intensive training and mentoring to build and refine their leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurial skills. At the end, participating youth will be able to take leadership in social change in their communities and across Ontario.

Applications for Studio Y cohorts happen on an annual basis. Find out more information on the next cohort.