Announced rollout plan to aid youth unemployment nationwide
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
For those unemployed in Vancouver, Starbucks Canada has invigorated the potential job market. On November 10, at a press release in the Downtown Eastside, Michelle Stilwell, BC’s Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, alongside Caroline Ternes, regional VP for the Western region of Starbucks Canada, explained how their partnership will bring a change to youth unemployment in the Lower Mainland.
“At Starbucks, we believe that everyone who wants a job should have a job, and we’re concerned over the number of youth who can’t find work or the opportunities to be successful,” said Ternes. “Every business has a role to play in creating opportunities to help Canadian youth succeed in today’s economy, and we are pleased to have developed ground-breaking partnerships that allow us to provide real solutions. By supporting these young people, we will create real pathways of opportunity for them while driving our business forward and strengthening the communities we serve.”
According to Statistics Canada, unemployment rates for youth aged 15–24 are 10.6 per cent as of January 2015. In contrast, the overall unemployment rate in BC is six per cent, and seven per cent in Canada as a whole. These rates will take time to decrease. The hopes of the partnership between the province and Starbucks is to draw the attention of youth who have the desire to work, but don’t have the means. Their vigour and passion, as a previously untapped resource, will be beneficial for their future financial well-being and will boost the economy.
“This partnership between WorkBC centres and Starbucks will benefit hundreds of youth in the Lower Mainland. To many, it’s much more than just a job—it can be the starting point for their dreams, ambitions, and goals in life,” said Stilwell. “While BC currently has the lowest youth unemployment rate in Canada, there are still too many young people who face barriers to employment. The commitment and support from Starbucks and the WorkBC centres will open doors for more than 330 young people in Vancouver, giving them an opportunity to work at Starbucks, build their skills, and find new opportunities.”
Probably the most attention-grabbing announcement throughout the press release was the fact that 10 per cent of all new hires will go to young people between the ages of 16–24 who aren’t working or attending school.