HomeNewsIsland & CoastYouth struggle to find work on Island and Coast

Youth struggle to find work on Island and Coast

A lot of young people are struggling to find jobs across Canada, especially on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

According to Labour force statistics from the province in March, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent, up 0.3 percent from February and 0.9 percent more than the number last year.

On the Island and Coast, the unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent.

One organization that focuses on helping people find work is Creative Employment Access Society, which has been around since 1982.

Executive director of the society Barb LePage says 50 percent of the people they work with are 30 and under.

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“They are definitely a large part of the unemployed population, and they are struggling more than ever,” said LePage.

“I think youth today struggle with employment because jobs are getting far more complex, and employers are expecting people to be off the shelf ready for the challenges in the complex jobs, which is unfair to the younger workers who aren’t as experienced.”

LePage says even if they do find employment, it’s usually entry-level jobs and because of the ongoing housing crisis, young people are often living at home with parents, which isn’t always a healthy situation for everyone.

She also says issues such as transportation, developing a social network with working people, and getting the confidence to put themselves out there make it more difficult for them to get employed.

“It used to be that youth were almost always able to get a job in retail or hospitality, and both sectors are struggling after the pandemic and with the increase in online shopping,” said LePage.

“Educated young people are in a predicament because if you don’t immediately crack into the field you were educated in, it becomes more and more difficult to crack in on a later date.”

She says connecting with professional guidance and help can help those struggling to find work, and that employers should come around to the idea that they are coaches, where they can nurture and grow talent.

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