Bridging NEET youth to skills and employment
The Skills Compass program helps engage young Canadians who are currently not in employment, education or training to develop the life skills, essential skills and career readiness they need to go back to school and prepare for a career. This three-year program is designed to meet the needs of unemployed or underemployed Indigenous and newcomer youth between the ages 18 to 30 years.
By bringing together colleges and institutes, along with service providers, community partners and employers, the program helps identify and address common barriers to education and employment. Its objective is to increase the capacity of partnering colleges and institutions to offer more relevant and accessible training and employment programming for Indigenous and newcomer youth to succeed in work and life.
Up to 150 young Canadians will directly benefit from the program by receiving the education and skills training tailored to their needs at one of the project’s five partnering colleges and institutes. This includes work placements that allow participants to gain on-the-job training and work experience. Throughout the project, colleges and institutes will also work with community-based youth-serving agencies to provide mentorship, cultural supports and wraparound services to support retention and program completion for participating youth.
- Indigenous youth (First Nations living off-reserve, Métis or Inuit) aged 20 to 24 had a NEET rate of 23% in 2018/2019—almost twice the national average of 12%.
- 28% of the newcomer youth who arrived in Canada between 2014 and 2016 had greater difficulties finding employment than those who arrived at a younger age.
- Refugee youth are almost five times more likely to leave high school before receiving their diploma as compared to other immigrants.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)