Broadbent Institute challenges businesses and Ottawa to move towards Youth Job Guarantee

Plan tackles steep unemployment and underemployment among youth under 25

OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute is calling on Canadian businesses and the federal government to create 186,000 full-time co-op, paid internship and summer jobs to help young people make a successful transition from education to work in a new report released today.

Inspired by an employment strategy endorsed by the Council of the European Union, the proposal is a first step in the development of a Youth Job Guarantee that would ensure those under age 25 have access to a good job, paid internship, or training position within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.


“It’s time for the federal government and Canadian businesses to get serious about the youth jobs crisis and work together to tackle it,” said Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith. “The employment situation of young people is worse today than before the recession, and that’s simply unacceptable. Our proposal would help equalize opportunities and guard youth from falling into long-term unemployment."

To kick-start the Youth Job Guarantee, businesses and the federal government would each invest $670 million – a tiny fraction of the $630 billion in “dead money” being hoarded by corporate Canada (or about 0.1% of total non-financial corporate cash assets) and only a quarter of the cost of the Conservatives’ proposed $3 billion family income splitting scheme.

Offered on an annual basis, the number of unemployed youth in any given month would fall by 46,500. This initial investment would be enough to reduce the current youth unemployment rate from 13.3% to 11.7%, and could be scaled up over time.

The youth unemployment rate is typically about double the rate of “core age” workers aged 25-54, but the ratio is now higher. One in seven Canadian youth (380,600) are out of work, and many more are underemployed or have given up looking for work. Recent research conducted by the Broadbent Institute found growing concern for their future economic well-being, and both millenials and their baby boomer parents want solutions.

“The Broadbent Institute’s proposal to get young Canadians working again is a good first step and would have an immediate impact on one of the most vulnerable cohorts in our workforce,” said Smith. “It’s time for a New Deal for young people. It’s time that we work together to help our youth transition from the classroom to the workplace.”

Read the full report, “Towards a Youth Job Guarantee” at www.broadbentinstitute.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Mike Fancie, Broadbent Institute
613-866-3606 or mfancie@broadbentinstitute.ca