National Coalition of Community-based Youth Employment Organizations
Draft Operational Principles
The National Coalition of Community-based Youth Employment Organizations is a group of youth serving organizations, community leaders and professionals working together to improve employment for youth in Canada. We engage youth insights and talent in all of the work we do.
The principles below provide a framework for this group’s efforts.
As a country, Canada is facing an employment crisis.
Employers are challenged to find the talent they need while the rate of youth unemployment remains high.
Too many Aboriginal and newcomer youth face bleak employment prospects.
Vulnerable youth have complex issues that require a continuum of supports.
Many unemployed youth feel they have no voice.
Our country needs to invest in developing a skilled workforce to meet current and upcoming labour shortages.
In the realm of training and employment services, there are many innovations and successful approaches striving for greater sustainability and adaptation.
We are a coalition founded by 200 community-based organizations and centred on our experience providing employment supports to over 150,000 young people every year acrossCanada. We recognize the need to mobilize in support of the next generation.
We work effectively and efficiently to raise the employment prospects of youth from all walks of life. Our efforts are often hindered by red tape and inflexibility. Though our efforts are overshadowed by larger economic changes, we cobble together high quality programs and demonstrate their impact from a patchwork of short-term support.
We are inviting stakeholders from government, private sector, educators, research groups, youth serving agencies and youth from all communities across Canada to join us to raise the employment prospects of Canadian youth. Through our coalitions’ efforts, we plan to increase our support, our expertise, and our influence.
- Community-based non-profits across Canada have the expertise and connections to substantially tackle the issues.
- The coalition has no one spokesperson – all coalition members are spokespeople for themselves and their own organizations.
- Target stakeholder determines messaging – speaking with government, business, or other non-profits requires different vocabulary.
- Suggest the story – use narratives to describe the successes and evidence-based approaches you are recommending/using
- Use accurate research data
- It is important to speak to politicians directly, not just civil servants. Politicians respond to face to face meetings, local events and local media.
- Multi-stakeholder/targeted. We are not just asking for support from government, we are asking for support from all stakeholders
- Multi-sector. We may focus on one sector of the economy or one group of youth (i.e. at risk youth) in order to build our successes, but we are ultimately seeking solutions in all sectors and for all youth.
- Member engagement and communication is continuous through the National Youth Employment Dialogues Group on LinkedIn, other social media and where possible at regional events and at the Futures conference.
- Action groups and activities arise more from opportunities and member assets and energy than from a centralized implementation plan
- Member organizations/individuals can start and lead an action group or project and recruit additional participants from the LinkedIn community and other social media sources
- Action groups keep the community informed of their progress and gather input from this group
- Guides strategy and framework level decisions (such as policy advocacy)
- Membership reflects cross-Canada representation
- Advisors may suggest projects for action teams and help establish these teams
- Advisors could be called upon to participate in policy advocacy meetings
- Advisors will help maintain and recruit champions
- Champions strategy – we try to find committed and connected individuals to champion different elements of our strategies. We give them leadership roles.
- Continuous recruitment of leaders to champion coalition strategies, membership and action group projects
- Coordination activities (i.e. hosting the LinkedIn or other social media sites, providing summaries of actions) to establish and launch the coalition are currently provided by First Work. This will be reviewed annually and other coordinating organizations are encouraged to put themselves forward for this role.
- Project authority rests with action group responsible for the project
- Coordination function decision-making handled by First Work, or replacement organization in the future, guided by Advisors
- Organizations that are members of this coalition don’t need to agree on everything or approve all activities
- Strengths determine strategies and tactics – we are not trying to reinvent the wheel we are trying to expand, deepen and bolster existing assets within our network and our Country.
- The Coordinator and members of action teams are welcome to provide resources or seek resources (from funders) to fund or enhance their work. Action teams are encouraged to provide resources to the coordinator (and vice versa) within any funding proposals pursued.
- Deadlines – all action groups and coordinator activities are expected to have a deadline as a way of motivating ongoing action.
- Action groups and coordinator deadlines, project deliverables, events, Advisors Group schedule and coordination activities are all to be posted on LinkedIn and/or other social media sites.
- Everyone with a stake in youth employment is welcome to our table
- We seek to share our successes in order to complement each other’s work