First Work’s primary objective is to foster the development of a strong youth workforce development sector, and part of that goal is to offer our community expertise and insight to government on any forth coming regulatory and legislative changes that affect our sector.

The insights and expertise provided by our network of employment service providers influence all our advocacy efforts, keeping Ontario’s young people at the heart. Advocacy is not limited to issues directly affecting the employment services sector, but includes efforts to support overall youth well-being. 

Our overarching advocacy objectives are to: 

  1. Increase Government insight to and communication with the youth employment sector, both provincially and federally. 
  2. Amplify the voice and expertise of the youth workforce development sector.
  3. Highlight the positive impact of the youth employment service providers on local communities. 

First Work 2023 Queen’s Park Day

April 18th 2023 marked the first-ever, membership-wide Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park for the First Work Network!

During Advocacy Day, we continued our tradition of fostering relationships on both sides of the aisle to move the needle on youth-specific supports.

With over 50 First Work member delegates in attendance, we drove home the message that youth – no matter where they live in Ontario – have unique barriers to employment. To ensure both ends of the employment spectrum – jobseekers and job creators – have their needs met, Employment Service Providers are the economic development drivers that strengthen the workforce and make young people not just job-ready, but retention-ready.

Access the Meeting Presentation here.

Read more about our 2023 Queen’s Park Day.

First Work Member Network Activation Week

First Work Network Advocacy Activation Week took place March 7th to 11th 2022 in tandem with Queen’s Park meetings to advocate to elected officials on the importance of Ontario’s employment services sector

We know that employment service providers are the regional labour experts who bridge job seekers and the economy, and that this unique positioning allows us to be the local community partners building Ontario’s economy.

Thank you to those who participated in this virtual conversation by sharing the importance of your work you do #BuildingTheWorkforce.

Access the toolkit to amplify your impact.

Government Submissions

As part of our advocacy efforts, First Work delivers recommendations to Government through ongoing consultations, including pre-Budget, at the Federal and Provincial levels. Our submissions reflect the key issues faced by the sector at that point in time, to ensure the collective voice of the youth workforce development sector is heard.

Explore our submissions.

2024 Federal Pre-Budget Submission
2023 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission
2023 Federal Pre-Budget Submission via CCCBET
2022 Pre-Budget Submission
2022 Pre-Budget Recommendations to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
2021 Recovery Recommendations to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
2020 Pre-Budget Submission

Queen's Park Day

First Work’s Queen’s Park Advocacy Day allows our members to directly engage with provincially elected representatives and watch the political process at work.

The day begins with Question Period where Members will see our elected officials in action and hear first-hand about the pressing issues facing Ontarians.

First Work then hosts a reception for elected representatives in the Legislative Committee Room. We provide MPPs with information about our collective vision for youth employment workforce development and invite them to get to know their community youth employment centers.

The Premier, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Opposition Leaders will be invited to address our Assembly to outline their priorities for youth workforce development and answer questions from our members.

Engagement Toolkit

Our engagement toolkit is available to our Members, providing key templates when reaching out to elected officials and policy-makers. These templates support initiating dialogue and fostering relationships for collaboration with the people we serve, government, opposition parties, and elected representatives and their staff. The goal of engagement is to share the profound impact of youth employment service providers on our communities and the issues we as a sector are working on across Ontario. As the industry experts, we help get your voice heard by decision-makers.

Visit the Member’s portal for more information.