Bayer, Ikea and Shell among top employers for young people

Competition reviews initiatives such as mentorship, training, advancement

Bayer Canada, Ikea and Shell Canada are among Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for 2014.

Successful organizations are paying more attention to the needs and aspirations of the youngest employees, according to Mediacorp Canada, which runs the competition.

"Innovation and adaptability don't exist in a vacuum," said Richard Yerema, managing editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "Employers that make it easier for young people to thrive in their careers, it turns out, also make their organizational DNA more resilient and able to adapt faster to change."

The competition recognizes the nation's leaders when it comes to attracting and retaining younger workers. It reviews a wide variety of initiatives, from mentorship to training and advancement opportunities.

"This year, we saw a wonderful range of initiatives tailored to the needs of recent college and university graduates," said Kristina Leung, the project's editor. "Many of these programs don't cost employers a lot of money or have huge budgets, but they do a great job at making young people understand they are central to the future of the organization."

Noteworthy initiatives included:

•JOEY Restaurant Group, based in Vancouver, hosts employee competitions for "Top Apprentice" and "League of Extraordinary Chefs" to ensure ongoing skills development by apprentice chefs.

SaskPower, based in Regina, has a youth committee comprised of a number of employees under age 30. They volunteer their time to support the retention, recruitment and engagement of other SaskPower youth.

Sodexo Canada, based in Burlington, Ont., organizes an international mentorship program, which pairs new graduates with overseas mentors and lets students spend a week in that country.

Ernst & Young brings interns from all over the world to a four-day Leadership Conference, where they meet the firm's executive team and develop leadership skills of their own.

•RBC encourages innovation among university students with its "Next Great Innovator Challenge," which asks students to solve a new problem each year (this year's question is about big data) for the chance to earn a $20,000prize.

Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for 2014

Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
ATB Financial
Bayer Canada
BC Hydro
Bell Aliant
Bennett Jones
Big Viking Games
Bruce Power
Cactus Restaurants
Canada Revenue Agency
Canadian Tire
Coca-Cola Canada
Connect Hearing
ConocoPhillips Canada
Corus Entertainment
DeltaWare Systems
Desjardins Group
Eaton Industries (Canada) 
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office
EF Educational Tours
EPCOR Utilities
Ernst & Young
Flatiron Construction.
Fluor Canada
Global Relay Communications
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab. Hospital
Hydro Ottawa
IKEA Canada
Infusion Development
Jazz Aviation
JOEY Restaurant Group
Knight Piésold
L'Oréal Canada
Labatt Breweries of Canada
Loblaw Companies
Macadamian Technologies
Manitoba, Government of
Manulife Financial Corporation
Matrix Solutions
Northwest Territories, Govt. of the
Ontario Public Service/OPS
Peel Regional Police
Pelmorex Media
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
Procter & Gamble
Provincial Health Services Authority/PHSA
PWC / PricewaterhouseCoopers
Radialpoint SafeCare
Rogers Communications
SAP Canada
Saskatchewan Government Insurance/SGI
Shell Canada
Sodexo Canada
Suncor Energy
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Surrey, City of
Toronto International Film Festival/TIFF
Trican Well Service
UBC/University of British Columbia
Vision Critical
Whistler Blackcomb
WorleyParsons Canada Services
YMCA of Greater Toronto

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