YES – 3 Ways We Can Support Youth Employment in BC

Article by: Timothy Lang, President & CEO at Youth Employment Services (YES). 

The transition from education into the workplace can be a scary one. As youth are instructed to follow a specific path paved out by societal norms, the reality of fully preparing themselves to be a candidate for employment can be intimidating. With the unemployment rate for youth in Vancouver up by 9.1%, here are a few ways we can support youth to ensure they are empowered with the skills and mentorship needed to be successful in the workforce.

Create Opportunities for Mentorship

Having a mentor to lean on for guidance and support is an invaluable and essential asset for youth. Mentors can be friends, family members, and industry leaders that all share a common theme: they listen, inspire, and guide towards success.

The mentor and mentee relationship is a unique one that can create both personal and professional satisfaction. When the perfect mentorship pairing is made, the results can be incredible. This mutually beneficial relationship can spark meaningful conversation, encourage self-reflection, and foster further networking and recruitment opportunities.

Whether you are a mentor looking for a mentee or vice versa, the fresh perspective and professional guidance can be a powerful tool for youth across BC.


Encourage Dialogue with Youth Battling Mental Health Issues

Recent years have played host to an evolving and more open dialogue in discussing mental health. The result has been an overwhelming outpour of support towards open conversations around mental health that previously had been kept behind closed doors. Supporting youth battling mental health issues can ensure that ongoing dialogue takes place to prepare them for employment that is both fulfilling and meaningful.


Employment provides structure in an individual’s life, improving their self-esteem and giving them a level of confidence that had not previously existed. It creates a sense of purpose and hope, allowing them to see an exciting future ahead. By providing support to youth struggling with mental issues, we can continue to positively impact their lives, creating opportunities for them to succeed.


Develop Technical Skills so Youth Are Equipped for Jobs of the Future

In a growing digital age, the need to develop technical skills is essential to position yourself as a suitable candidate for employment opportunities. If we aren’t providing youth with the proper skills to succeed, how can we expect to fix the unemployment rate and continue to grow our economy? The ever-growing demand for digital skills across all industries shows no sign of slowing down. There is a strong recognition among businesses that building digital literacy and computational thinking skills in the workforce are crucial for their anticipated labour needs.

Through mentorship, an ongoing dialogue around mental health, and the development of technical skills, youth can be better prepared to enter the workforce and seek employment opportunities with confidence.

Organizations like Youth Employment Services (YES) work to create an ongoing conversation around the issue of unemployment, developing turnkey programs to educate and empower youth towards successful futures. Through the support of Citi Canada and the Citi Foundation, YES has launched their new YES on Demand Program that seeks to address the persistent issue of youth unemployment.  Through this program, youth will become equipped with the skills to enhance their employability.



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