the effects of youth unemployment and unpaid internships are hitting a nerve among Canadian families. I expect we’ll be hearing more about this topic over the course of the coming year.
The narrative around unpaid internships resonates closely with young people (15 to 29) who are threatened by unemployment, precarious employment or underemployment and, of greater political consequence, their parental piggy-banks.
The political and media response on this issue has changed over the last six years, trending away from coincidence, toward acknowledgement and only much more recently, toward political action. But we know, with economic tracking, this issue will be measured by results and not by just another decorative badge placed on some candidate’s policy sash.
The enduring trend facing youth is an unemployment rate roughly twice the national average. Until we see a change, we’ll know nothing is being done differently enough to solve the problem.
We need more than just a change in the type of solutions being proposed. The insufficient “more jobs” design won’t be enough this year; we know that a poorly crafted new grad jobs program offers only temporary solace to a patient few. I think it’s time we rephrase the questions we’re asking when it comes to youth unemployment strategies.