Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Higher Education Must Address Youth Unemployment

Youth Unemployment | Ontario Colleges

More young people need access to college programs to help them find meaningful work.

The president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, Linda Franklin, says that both government and schools must work together to address the urgent problem of youth unemployment. The facts show that many graduates find themselves living in their parent’s basements, either unemployed or underemployed, and Franklin puts the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of those who should be creating opportunities for students to ultilize their training and earn a decent living.

“The priority must be helping the many young people who are struggling to find good jobs,” states Franklin. “Students, parents and the community expect us to be working alongside the business community and government on meaningful solutions.”

While more than 16 per cent of young people in Ontario are unemployed, many more are stuck in dead-end jobs that do not allow them to use their talents and skills to the full. While this is demoralizing and discouraging to young people, it affects the province as well. According to The Conference Board of Canada, the skills mismatch costs the province more than $24 billion a year in lost economic opportunity and about $3.7 billion a year in potential tax revenues, prompting the Ontario government to meet with post-secondary leaders to discuss changes to higher education.

Possible solutions include helping students choose a mix of university and college programs. In fact, there has been a hike of at least 40 per cent over the past five years in the number of university graduates enrolled in college programs. As well, the range of degree opportunities must be expanded, allowing colleges to offer three-year degree programs in career-specific areas.

With more than 83 per cent of Ontario college graduates finding work within six months of graduation, Franklin says more young people need access to college programs to help them find meaningful work and to create a highly skilled workforce.

Editorial Staff
Author: Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at STUDY Magazine is a team of industry professionals.
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