What We Do_v2

First Work is Ontario’s employment network and association group responsible for convening, researching, and advocating for employment service providers and the job seekers they serve.

First Work convenes the sector for knowledge sharing of best practices, offering organic professional development in regional specific groupings. Explore First Work Membership.

First Work trains the employment service providers who comprise our publicly funded workforce development sector in Ontario. Explore Training Opportunities.

First Work research supports evidence-led approaches for equitable employment to inform policy decisions. Explore Research.

First Work advocates for a sustainable employment services delivery network and the job seekers served through these critical public services. Explore Advocacy.

Sector Engagement

First Work gives organizations and professionals access to services designed to support all perspectives of government relations, regional needs, and local priorities. We provide tools and resources to help members save time, eliminate guesswork and ensure equitable service delivery to all youth, regardless of where they live in Ontario.

  • Advocacy & Government Affairs
  • Regional Targeted Priorities
  • Top Industry Trends and Issues

Workforce Development Innovations

First Work tackles complex youth employment-related challenges and identifies new, innovative solutions. Bringing together progressive talent who challenge each other to do better, we search and test new approaches for better outcomes.

  • Emerging Service Approaches
  • Program Innovation Pilots
  • Information & Technology Integration

Strategic Collaboration

First Work creates partnerships and strategic alliances to leverage our ability to address employment challenges and increase our collective impact. We identify and secure partners who share our commitment to young people and their employment journey.

  • Public, Private, and Non-Profit Partnerships
  • Research & Evaluation
  • Mobilization & Partnership Agreements

Knowledge Advancement

First Work provides learning and professional development opportunities tailored to youth engagement, workforce development and industry professionals. We host conferences and educational events to strengthen the capacity of the sector.

  • Conference & Learning Exchanges
  • Community of Practice
  • Credentialing & Certifications

Cultivating Talent

First Work engages with Employers to provide sustainable youth employment by discovering career pathways, creating youth friendly workplaces, articulating skill requirements, and connecting youth to the local economy.

  • Labour Mobility Pathways
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Fostering Entrepreneurship