Created in 2010, Networking for Youth (N4Y) was designed to address the gaps young people face in the job market. Current qualitative data suggests that recent graduates, particularly those who come from minority communities, face specific barriers to finding meaningful employment. Thus, N4Y particularly supports youth from minority communities. As well, N4Y is currently a partnership between Jewish Family Services of Ottawa (JFS) and Somali Centre for Family Services (SCFS).
N4Y programs are tailored to meet the career development needs of youth in post-secondary institutions. These services offer both professional networking events and one-on-one mentoring opportunities. By offering a space on campus for youth to ask their career-related questions to professionals, both career planning and job searches can occur in a more strategic way.
Outcomes & Word of Praise
N4Y participants will broaden and expand both their social and professional networks, enhance leadership, and improve their understanding of national and local job boards. Panelists and mentors are learning first-hand the challenges of finding work—contract or otherwise—and are suggesting ways to find related or indirectly-related job opportunities.
The program also allows for HR agencies and companies to positively impact the communities they serve. As well N4Y permits increased visibility of youth employment within in the community and encourages a positive relationship between agencies and youth.
N4Yworks with minority youth and agencies flexible working with smaller ethno cultural communities in an effort to allow youth the opportunities to help shape their future. Social service agencies and minority youth are increasingly recognizing the need to better develop youth employment services as an investment in the future of Canada. N4Y recognizes this need and has created workshops, mentorship programs, and more to help address this issue.
“I appreciate you getting in touch with me. I think in terms of being exposed to individuals who have done a lot in a sector of personal interest, the program has been an inspiring and motivating tool.” — Hassan, employed as Junior Policy Analyst at Natural Resources Canada.
“I am happy I know what I want to do now, which is half the battle. I really appreciate your support. [N4Y] reaching out to us has meant so much to me, thank you!” —Abdi Omar, University Student.