ESCALATOR – Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers – Companies and Youth Moving Up in the World



A region where all young people thrive, and where their talents and drive contribute to the regional economy. That’s our vision for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). But we are facing a harsh reality – as many as 83,000 youth in the GTHA are not in education, employment or training.

While our youth unemployment numbers are high across the board, they are even higher for certain demographics of youth people who face multiple barriers to entry into the workforce. The total youth unemployment rate in Toronto is over 20%, it is almost 25% for aboriginal youth, and nearly 30% for black youth.

There are many hard personal costs to youth unemployment. Lack of self-esteem, lack of dignity, a feeling of hopelessness. But there are hard economic costs too. Studies on other North American jurisdictions estimate that the cumulative lifetime burden to society of youth who aren’t in school or working is $1 million per youth.

The benefits of youth landing a job are substantial. For our target youth, employment offering meaningful work can be a ticket out of difficult situations and can change their trajectory.

This problem is real and we need to act now.

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ICE Committee