Council for Youth Prosperity

/Council for Youth Prosperity
Council for Youth Prosperity 2018-05-22T08:36:59+00:00

About the Council for Youth Prosperity

RBC to join First Work in marking 30 years of advancing youth employment in Ontario by co-leading a new and exciting initiative – Council for Youth Prosperity.

Workforce development has emerged as a top priority for Ontario youth, businesses and community-based services. As you know, employment provides income and opportunities for advancement, and a proven, lasting pathway out of poverty. According to Statistics Canada, youth unemployment continues to average at 12% year over year, 2X higher than the rest of society. This percentage only increases when vulnerable youth populations (e.g., indigenous youth, new immigrants, young people with disabilities, radicalized youth, and youth in rural/remote communities) are faced with additional barriers to employment.

Comprehensive employment supports require the collaboration of governments, employers, academic institutions and community-based organizations. Through co-creation, new possibilities for youth employment and development emerge. As Ontario’s Youth Employment Network, we acknowledge the wonderful work being done to enhance and introduce new programs and services; however, true impact will only be achieved when systems-change occurs.

Co-chaired by First Work and RBC, The Council for Youth Prosperity will champion evidence-based initiatives which support the evolution of youth employment services into a youth workforce development system designed to ensure youth are prepared, educated, trained and enabled to be gainfully employed, enterprising and earning.

The council will provide their leadership and expertise to guide the development and resourcing of the following objectives:

  1. To establish standards for youth workforce development for organizations and the business community
  2. To establish the Wellness@Work Fund providing supporting organizations with access to funds for the sole purpose of job retention supports for youth with mental health and/or disability challenges
  3. To establish new roles and services to assist the business community with the identification, navigation and application of programs/ services which support youth employment and local hiring.

Madeleine Barker
Senior Director, Strategic Workforce Initiatives, RBC

Workforce development has emerged as a top priority for Ontario youth, businesses and community-based services. As you know, employment provides income and opportunities for advancement, and a proven, lasting pathway out of poverty. According to Statistics Canada, youth unemployment continues to average at 12% year over year, 2X higher than the rest of society. This percentage only increases when vulnerable youth populations (e.g., indigenous youth, new immigrants, young people with disabilities, radicalized youth, and youth in rural/remote communities) are faced with additional barriers to employment.

Over her 20 years in financial services, Madeleine’s diverse career includes experience serving clients and leading teams in branches, work in communications, change management, business and people strategy.