February 2017

Membership Renewal

Dear Members,

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the work we do together to advance youth employment in Ontario. After a year of transition and listening to the needs of our members, we have enhanced our support to you in meaningful ways that will increase our impact and strengthen the voice of the member network province-wide. Your membership renewal will allow us to enhance the service offerings that will increase your organizational capacity and strengthen our reach as a sector.

Newly Added Benefits of Membership:

  • Increased Advocacy: Communicating issues, challenges and alternatives to various ministries and levels of government on behalf of the membership will be central to our role
  • Members Only Portal: First Work is designing a portal to provide its members with access to information and resources that will support the growth of your staff, management and organizations.
  • Amplify Conference (May 8, 2017): This will be a high level professional development conference for emerging leaders, senior managers and executives within the youth employment sector. Amplify will feature illuminating TED-style talks with thought leaders, followed by engaging discussions and will feature a a useful Program Design Lab
  • Engagement with Industry and Education Partners: Bringing the other pieces of the puzzle together will allow us to collaborate on evidence-based solutions to youth unemployment while leveraging the work that is being done within other sectors
  • Youth Conference and Award Ceremony: We will engage those we serve in a long overdue discussion about their needs, issues that affect them and solutions that would create meaningful, positive and lasting change. We will showcase outstanding achievers and role models who can inspire others
  • Professional Development Series: A series of workshops will be delivered to support members with program roll-outs, organizational development and pressing issues that affect our sector
  • Quarterly Reports: These reports will showcase emerging sectors, government plans, identify trends, outline new research findings and list current opportunities for partnerships
  • Job postings: In response to your requests, we will be posting member job vacancies on our website to support your recruitment efforts
  • Blogs: Will be posted on our website with relevant topics, success stories, new resources etc. to support your staff in their daily work
  • Access to Consultants: To support members upon request in designing customized solutions for their organization
Current Member Benefits include:
  • Futures Conference: Canada’s largest annual development opportunity for youth employment professionals. This three-day conference brings together over 375 delegates from the sector, offers over 40 workshops and allows for valuable skills development and networking opportunities
  • Regional Tables: Participation in regional tables with special meetings held quarterly to address the unique needs and challenges of each region
  • Advocacy, Networking and Coalition-Building: we help your organization to access government departments and ministries, and help to provide a unified voice for the sector. Our members can influence program and policy decisions through our extensive network
  • Research and Evaluation Support: Our Evidence staff provides you with support and access to our impactful and visually-engaging research briefs
  • Revenue Sharing: Access to shared opportunities in multi-stakeholder grants for joint projects and partnerships
  • Job Developer's Institute, a specialized series of workshops designed for job developers within the youth employment sector
  • Group Benefits Plan: Eligibility for insurance coverage with Arthur J. Gallagher (Large Group Discounts for: Health & Dental Coverage, Employee Assistance Plan, Retirement & Pension Plan, Life & Disability Benefits, and Flex Plans, including for smaller organizations)
  • Monthly e-bulletins containing important and timely information, news and events

We are energized by this dynamic network and enthused by the work ahead of us. We are confident that the enhancements to your First Work membership will provide excellent value and we look forward to your 2017 renewal. Invoices will be sent out shortly. We thank you again for your trust, guidance, membership and participation in advancing youth employment in Ontario! It is our pleasure to serve this vibrant and dedicated community of professionals. We love to help you help youth!

Some Upcoming Events
Program Updates

EOIS-CaMS Release 6.4

“The purpose of this bulletin is to provide Employment Ontario (EO) service provider organizations, with an informational update...EOIS-CaMS Release 6.4 is expected to be launched on February 27, 2017 to all service providers and ministry staff…Release 6.4 will include enhancements to system functionality, as well as new and updated reports. The following items are the key enhancements that will be introduced with this release. A more fulsome description of EOIS-CaMS Release 6.4 will be provided at launch in the 'GoLive' communique."


"This report shows all year-to-date YJCS Service Plan Profile data elements based on data
filtering into each section based on the dates indicated. All sections of this report, with the exception of the Expenditure section, are based on the 'Start Date' of the service plan. If a client has more than one service plan in the report period, then they are counted for each service plan. Pro6vincial and regional roll up reports are also available under the Rollups section of the EOIS Service Provider Reporting website."
Some Opportunities for Youth
Indigenous Youth Summer Employment Opportunity

“The Indigenous Youth Summer Employment Opportunity (IYSEO) is part of the Government of Canada’s recognition of the important contributions that Indigenous employees can make in building a more diverse and inclusive public service, while contributing to the renewal of the government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.” The press release on the new program can be found here.
Ottawa Summer Employment Recruitment

For students interested in working in the City of Ottawa, the 2017 Summer Student Employment Program is now open and will be accepting online applications from February 1 to February 28, 2017. Summer jobs in Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Services (RCFS) can be found here. The RCFS Summer Hiring Campaign will be open from February 1 to September 1.
News Corner

Disabilities and Employment

A Toronto Star article reports that employment will be the key focus of the Persons with Disabilities Minister. Survey "data has long shown that Canadians with disabilities are greatly underemployed compared to their nondisabled counterparts, with multiple studies finding that only half of disabled Canadians have found work." A recent poll commissioned by CIBC and conducted by Angus Reid reports similar findings to a 2015 Statistics Canada poll. CIBC is going a step further to tackle this issue, by partnering with Magnet, a non-profit career advancement website, to create more opportunities for people with disabilities. Citing a "largely untapped" pool of "talented and experienced individuals," CIBC has pledged to hire 500 new employees with disabilities in 2017, with more to follow yearly. You can also find information on a successful model for a summer employment program for youth with disabilities here.

Mental Health

A press release from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reports that the province is investing in more psychotherapy, supportive housing and services for youth, and is now providing faster access to mental health services for thousands of people. This is a crucial and timely intervention, as lack of awareness and supports for people dealing with issues of mental health and addiction pose substantial employment barriers. A CAMH Factsheet reports that "individuals with a mental illness are much less likely to be employed. Unemployment rates are as high as 70% to 90% for people with the most severe mental illnesses." Similarly, a Mental Health Commission of Canada Factsheet explains that "in any given year, one in five people in Canada experiences a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy of well in excess of $50 billion."

"Impressive" Job Growth but Increasing Youth Unemployment

This recent news report states that, according to Statistics Canada, Employment rose by 48,300 jobs in January 2017. According to the report, "private-sector jobs rose 32,400 between December and January, compared with an increase of 7,700 public-sector positions." However, despite this overall increase, youth employment fell. While the overall employment rate increased from 6.8% from 6.9%, youth unemployment increased from 12.6% to 13.3%. Furthermore, the newly-created jobs are primarily part-time, and as the article reports, workers continue to see "wage increases fade and their work hours shrink," with "hourly earnings increased by less than 1.3 per cent, which was below inflation."

Employment Insurance Service Quality Review Report Release

"The Government of Canada...released the Employment Insurance Service Quality Review Report, which was a review of how Service Canada delivers the Employment Insurance (EI) program." The key recommendations highlighted in the press release include: (1) clearer and easier communication between Canadians and Service Canada; (2) better support and guidance for those who need help navigating the EI program; (3) accessible call centres to support Canadians when they need them; (4) improved service standards that focus on positive claimant outcomes, rather than on speed of processing; and (5) a citizen-centric approach that puts the needs and preferences of Canadians at the focal point of all key decisions.

Trudeau Under Fire for Policies Affecting Youth

Justin Trudeau faces harsh scrutiny from critics who say that he has failed to live up to promises to youth. As this article reports, "the Katimavik Board of Directors announces that it will have to permanently shut down...if no adequate commitment is confirmed from the Canadian federal government.” Established in 1977, but defunded by the Conservatives in 2012, Katimavik provided volunteer opportunities to Canadian youth, and “has more than 35,000 alumni and has supported 11,000 organizations in over 1,000 communities.” Trudeau once hailed the program as having an “enormous impact on this country, one that shouldn't be understated,” and “starting in 2012 and prior to taking office in October 2015, the Prime Minister said he would restore Katimavik.” Yet as this article explains, efforts "to engage the prime minister, who is also the Minister of Youth, as well as other cabinet ministers for more than a year...have fallen on deaf ears." Similarly, an editorial argues that the PM should honour his campaign promise "to encourage employers to hire young people" by granting "them a 12-month holiday on employment insurance premiums if they hired people aged 18 to 24 for permanent jobs."

Employment Sectors and the Shifting Nature of Employment

An article on ipolitics article proposes increased public sector hiring as a remedy for unemployment. The article counters the Fraser Institute's critique of public sector employee benefits (pdf), outlined in a CBC report citing the Institute's study and critical infographic on "the Great Pay Divide" between public and private sector workers. The Fraser institute reports that public sector employees have higher wages, take more personal days, have greater job security, retire slightly earlier, and are more likely to have a pension than their private sector counterparts. By contrast, the ipolitics article cites this as an admirable ideal that more employers should strive for in the wake of "growing inequality and income stagnation," arguing that the greatest divide is between the highest-paid private sector workers and everyone else, as evidenced by the fact that "between 1999 and 2012, the bottom 20 per cent of Canadians saw their net worth sink to negative $10.8-billion, while the top 20 per cent nearly doubled their wealth from $2.9 trillion to $5.4 trillion." On a related note, this Globe and Mail article explains how self-employed "workers in the ‘gig’ economy face challenges in saving for retirement," and outlines some investment strategies for workers with less consistent incomes.
**If you have news, events, research, or success stories that you would like us to share in our newsletters or on our website, please submit them to info@firstwork.org. For newsletter items, please submit by the first week of every month, so we can include them, space-permitting. Thank you!**
Copyright © 2017 Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

If you wish to unsubscribe from this mailing list, please email info@firstwork.org, with "unsubscribe" as the subject line.