Most Canadians feel youth unprepared for job market: Study

Apprenticeships, internship programs need investment
||Last Updated: 09/19/2013

A majority of Canadians feel youth are significantly underprepared for the job market, a new survey found.

More than one-half (54 per cent) feel youth are not even moderately prepared to enter the job market.

The lack of prepared young workers is creating industry-specific labour shortages that can be a critical drain on the economy, the study said.

Pathways to Education Canada commissioned the survey with Vision Critical.

The results also indicated that many Canadians want more investment in mentorship areas to better prepare youth for the job market.

The need for apprenticeship programs and skilled trades was cited by 66 per cent of respondents, a need for employment internship programs was cited by 42 per cent and 38 per cent wanted more vocational skills training.

“There is a mismatch between the skills being learned by today's youth and the skills needed for Canada's growing industries,” said David Hughes, president and CEO of Pathways to Education Canada. "One of the best ways for students to leverage what they learn in school is participation in internship or mentoring programs,particularly when hands-on experience is increasingly demanded by employers."

Pathways is launching a new internship and employment program with support from donor Northbridge Financial Corporation.

"It's up to companies to provide these important opportunities for youth to get hands-on learning," says Ilda Dinis, vice-president of corporate marketing and communications at Northbridge Financial Corporation. "Our support of the Pathways program is a great example of the private and non-profit sectors working together to prepare the next generation of recruits."

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