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O4AY co-hosts its first virtual Youth Design Jam

April 28, 2020

Opportunity For All Youth co-hosts its first Youth Design Jam 

In partnership with the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, Opportunity For All Youth hosted its first Design Jam on April 17th.

 The purpose of the online workshop and brainstorming session was to gather feedback from Canadian youth on how the government, community partners and employers can better reach, engage and support NEET youth in the employment landscape.

 O4AY will use this information to develop processes, tools and evaluation metrics to identify and address systemic barriers to meaningful employment for youth in Canada. Nearly a dozen youth attended the first of a series of workshops.  

 Topics discussed were:

  • What is working well with governments, community partners and employers and what can be improved
  • How can each of these stakeholders support success with youth employment
  • How youth-centric organizations can better collaborate
  • How to reach and engage youth
  • Changing the way organizations define success
  • Opportunities for youth leadership and input
  • Impact of COVID-19 on employment opportunities for youth

 “Youth in attendance garnered some brilliant ideas,” said Sarah Vickery, O4AY program manager.  

Here is a summary of big ideas generated by the group:

 Youth and Employers:
  • Have youth lead training for employers on how to engage them
  • For government-funded job programs, have youth measure the effectiveness of employers to decide if they receive funding next year
Collaboration between youth employment agencies:
  • Change how agencies are funded and measured to reward collaboration
  • Put youth in decision making roles for youth programs and organizations
Government engagement: 
  • Create an opportunity database for youth
  • Create a permanent national youth engagement body

“The young people on the call were quite interested in how social media could be used to reach and test ideas. This is a really good starting point with developing tools that will work across all stakeholders.” said Vickery.

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