Apr 11, 2012

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How can we avert the ‘quiet disaster’ of youth unemployment?

On Wednesday, April 11th, Career Buzz offered an engaging hour of radio featuring Senior CBC Radio Producer Neil Sandell on what he’s learning in a year focused on youth unemployment.

In Canada, youth unemployment is about twice as high as the national average. In Ireland, Italy, and Spain, youth unemployment hovers at 40%. Twenty-somethings, some with multiple degrees, are searching for work in their field one and even two years after graduating. Those with only secondary education are falling further behind. Why is this happening? What can be done?

“Long term unemployment and underemployment among young adults represents a profound squandering of talent, education, and creative energy,” says Neil Sandell, Senior CBC Radio Producer, winner of an Atkinson Foundation award focusing on youth unemployment. “It is dispiriting for the individual. For society, it is a quiet disaster.” Neil has been examining the causes of unemployment among young adults and investigating solutions to the problem that “frustrates young adults and confounds their parents.” He shared stories about what he’s found to be effective programs and best practices to address the issue. Neil’s professional home has been the CBC for more than 25 years. Based in Toronto, he has worked on As It Happens, Quirk n Quarks, IDEAS, and Outfront.

We also heard from young adults in their own words. Peter Donnan graduated in 2011 with a major in psychology from Queen’s University, found an unpaid internship, then was offered a full time position with the company after they realized he was looking for work elsewhere. Michael Panos just found a great job with the help of Youth Employment Services (YES), after leaving university.

Nancy Schaefer, President of Youth Employment Services and Author of Good WORK!, also joined us and helped us understand all the different kinds of people we’re talking about when we use the word “youth,” and what her organization is doing to support them.

SPARKs from Career Buzz on March 28: When is a good time to look for a job? “Yesterday,” said Recruiter Jack Nodel of AReS Staffing. Always keep your eyes open for “strong opportunities that feel correct to you and offer you fulfillment in all areas. It should be an ongoing process.” Jack emphasized the importance of people-to-people connections. “Living that life of building good relationships, referring good people to other people, will lead you into the referrals you’re looking for. When you refer John to Michelle and you open that connection… I’ve learned in my life and career that those investments will be your most fruitful, and those investments will make much more of a difference than hitting the send button on a web-based [job site] that will give you a couple seconds of hope.” Listen to the whole interview

CareerCycles Tip: Be on the lookout over the next few days for an opportunity to introduce two people in your network who should know each other. Make that connection, by email or social media or in conversation. Then stay open to the positive clues you’ll notice.

Inspire your life, empower your career, enrich your week. Join us on WEDNESDAYs 11am-noon at 89.5 FM or www.ciut.fm Listen to our inspiring past shows

Make the connection. Contact Jennifer Mackey, Client Service & Office Manager, at 416 465 9222 or at service@careercycles.com for an initial career conversation. Remember, a referral is sending someone you care about to someone you respect. Please don’t keep us a secret.

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