Ottawa, the provinces, municipalities and non-profit agencies offer hundreds of youth employment programs. They include internships, training allowances, tax credits for apprenticeships and career development for marginalized groups. The question is not so much, do we need more programs but, rather, are they effective? Do they deliver value for money?
This problem is not unique to Canada. In London, England, Project Oracle is devoted to just such probing questions. The initiative comes after the blunt assessment of a select committee: “We find that many services are unable or unwilling to measure the improvements they make in the outcomes for young people.”
Here in Canada, in 2008, the United Way of Toronto published a comprehensive study entitled “Youth Policy: What Works and What Doesn’t.” In a nutshell, it found that youth services go begging for money year to year. This hamstrings their long-term planning. They also struggle to evaluate whether they are doing their job.
Evaluation is a must. Feel-good testimonials from former clients warm the heart, but they are by their nature selective. They say little about a program’s overall effectiveness. The questions we need to ask of youth policy are: what difference is it making? how do we know?
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
Youth Unemployment | More severe in countries in which vocational preparation takes place in full-time schools
“Young graduates and early school leavers entering the labour market are a population at risk. They are exposed to above-average turnover rates between different jobs and face an increased risk of unemployment. “ write Marc Piopiunik and Paul Ryan in Improving the transition between education/training and the labour market: What can we learn from various … Continue reading »
EU member states should guarantee that young Europeans do not remain out of work or education for more than four months, according to a scheme unveiled Wednesday by the European Commission. However the cost of tackling youth unemployment would largely fall to the states, said EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor, adding that “the costs of … Continue reading »
“Around the world, governments and businesses face a conundrum: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical skills” writes Mona Mourshed, Diana Farrell, and Dominic Barton in a McKinsey in Its report Education to Employment Designing a system that works. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow) How can a country successfully move … Continue reading »
“Youth unemployment was rising since well before the current economic downturn, but the fallout from the financial crisis has brought it to the top of the government’s agenda and generated a plethora of publications and initiatives to tackle the problem.” write Tess Lanning and Katerina Rudiger in Youth unemployment in Europe: lessons for the UK (Adapted choosen excerpts by …Continue reading »
‘In industrialized economies such as the European countries unemployment rates are very responsive to the business cycle and significant shares stay unemployed for more than one year.” writes Künn, Steffen in Unemployment and active labor market policy : new evidence on start-up subsidies, marginal employment and programs for youth unemployed. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor … Continue reading »
The last crisis has merely amplified what is an increasingly problematic structural issue in France: Youth unemployment. In the last 30 years, the youth unemployment rate has never dropped below 15% and has regularly exceeded 20%. Yet, integrating young people into the labour market has been an ongoing public policy objective since the end of … Continue reading »
Q. There doesn’t seem to be much of a recovery in the job prospects of young workers. Why does this segment of the labour force continue to lag behind? A: Youth tend to suffer more during a recession, and take longer to recover from its effects. They often lack the experience and / or connections … Continue reading »