Young people today are faced with a changing job market, with an increase in casual, part-time and temporary work. This comes at a time where the job market is universally asking for higher levels of education and in-depth experience from prospective employees. 20% of Canadians aged 15-29 are employed precariously in short-term or part-time positions. This figure rises to 30% when one focuses on Canadians with less than five years of experience*. This negatively impacts the mental health, relationships, and security of young Canadians.

The YMCA believes that employment should empower Canadians, not create insecurity. A Canada that builds belonging is a Canada that builds employment opportunities that are stable and leverage the various skill sets of its citizens.

The Way Forward

To make sure we are putting the right foot forward, we have outlined the following federal policy goals that we believe will help create a Canada that offers meaningful employment opportunities to young Canadians.

  • Support policies that encourage young people to obtain education and training, and encourage the creation of full-time, decent employment opportunities.
  • Fund youth-serving organizations to support employers in navigating the changing workforce and working with the next generation of employees.
  • Fund employment-related mental health resources that help youth enter and remain in the workforce.
  • Develop and deliver wrap-around programs that ease the transition from education to employment for young Canadians.

Our Impact

YMCA Employment Services offer young people an array of wrap-around services and developmentally-appropriate supports for obtaining stable and meaningful employment. Today, YMCAs in eight provinces offer employment programs for youth ages 18-29, serving over 66,000 young people in 2017. In addition to supporting young people through our employment programs, over 10,000 young people work in all areas of the YMCA, from Health, Fitness and Aquatics, to Early Learning and Child Care, to YMCA Day Camp and Overnight Camp.


*Tranjan, 2018

Other Policy Areas

Child Care Housing Healthy Living