Check out this exclusive discussion brought to you by Emerging Leaders, The Canadian CED Network's standing youth committee.
You hardly need to do a quick web search to understand that real and imposing challenges exist for youth wanting to break into the Canadian job market. In some cases you may be told you don’t have enough experience despite years of educational training. In other cases you might be told that you are over-educated for the position. In many cases you may find there just aren’t jobs available in your field of study or practice, despite being told that if you ‘follow your passion’ things would work out. Whatever the reason, many youth, along with other marginalized segments of our population, are being left out of the Canadian economy.
In this age of growing concern for social and environmental conditions, youth are increasingly looking for purpose driven employment opportunities in the hopes of developing mission-related careers. Canada’s employment statistics also reveal an aging workforce, much of which is nearing retirement. Employers understand that youth engagement is essential for creating substantive and lasting change and is integral to organizational succession planning for. All of this seems to bode well for youth participation in the Social Economy of Canada. But many organizations have limited hiring power and, in some cases limited experience in effective youth engagement, and so are struggling to provide the work experience and longer-term employment opportunities needed to attract a new generation of workers to the Social Economy.
This session introduces some examples of how youth can take charge of their own careers within the Social Economy, both by creating your own initiatives and by finding ways to integrate yourself into existing programs and projects.
- Sandra Badcock is Housing & Tenant Relations Specialist with Stella’s Circle, a social services agency in St. John's, Newfoundland providing programs for adults who have faced challenge in the community, including personal or family breakdown, homelessness, mental health issues, addictions, abuse, illiteracy and the lack of education as well as poverty. Sandi entered the world of CED as a CreateAction intern in 2010 and has never turned back. Working for various organizations for youth, including FINALY!, Service Canada Centre for Youth, and Student Affairs and Services, Sandi has been active in youth advocacy, issues, and engagement. She is the current chair of Emerging Leaders.
- Stefan Epp-Koop is Program Director of Food Matters Manitoba. Previously, Stefan has coordinated research, evaluation, and policy analysis at Food Matters and was also Project Coordinator for the Manitoba Alternative Food Research Alliance. Stefan holds an MA in History from Queen's University. Stefan became interested in food for many reasons – growing up in rural Alberta, involvement in international development work, and an interest in policy issues, to name a few, not to mention the joy of getting his hands in the garden dirt.
- Marianne Jurzyniec is currently employed with Affinity Credit Union as a Community Development Manager in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. In 2011 she joined Emerging Leaders and has enjoyed the experience of meeting other people who share the same goals and interests as she does including her passion for co-operatives, the environment, and her community. Her current role in Community Development allows her to feed these passions by working with micro-enterprise, co-op development, financial literacy, affordable housing, social enterprise, and environmental initiatives.