The current youth unemployment rate stands at 13.3 per cent. See June’s job numbers broken down here. While some job growth has occurred in this country, much of it has been only part-time employment increases. And there is increasing competition for those jobs, leaving many younger workers struggling to land that all-important first job.

Youth Unemployment in Other Countries

While most agree that there is a large deficit in jobs for younger workers, it is important to put the youth unemployment rate in Canada into context. Canada is still fairing much better than other countries around the world – France (23.8 per cent), Ireland (26.8 per cent), the United Kingdom (21 per cent) and the United States (15.55 per cent).

Four Ways Job Seekers Can Beat the Odds

    How can you ensure you are rise above these challenges and not become a Canadian unemployment statistic? We know from employers there are concrete things job seekers can do while still in school to increase your chances of successfully transitioning from school to work.

    Master the Essentials – Soft skills such as good communication and writing, being a team player and having leadership qualities are all considered essential in today’s job market. While in school, take advantage of any opportunities that give you a chance to practice and perfect these skills. Team projects at school, writing a blog, public speaking and volunteering are just some examples of ways to increase your soft skills. Make sure to let employers know how you’ve mastered these skills!

    Get Work Experience – Transitioning into the job market after school is one of the most difficult challenges for young Canadians due to a lack of work experience. Whether it’s through internships, apprenticeships, part time jobs, or volunteering, take every opportunity to gain valuable work experience while in school. Don’t forget to work every summer as well. It is one of your most important ways to gain valuable job experience.

    Connect With Others – Networking often sounds very intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Stop networking and instead start connecting. Talk with your professors, friends and family about your career aspirations. Regularly visit industry blogs in your field and don’t be shy to attend conferences or public speaking events to connect with others. Whenever possible, try to meet people face-to-face, rather than online. This will help you improve your soft skills as well.

    Differentiate Yourself – The job market is made up of many individuals like yourself competing for the same jobs. How can you ensure that you are the one that gets hired? It’s all about differentiating yourself from others. For example, consider learning another language, starting your own company for the summer, taking on a leadership role at your church, or taking courses outside of school to provide you with additional credentials. Fill your resume with skills and qualifications that few others may have!

Governments need to do more to help young Canadians secure a better future. In the meantime, don’t wait around for governments to solve this issue (you may be waiting a very long time!) Take matters into your own hands and take concrete steps now while in school to land that perfect job after graduation. You can do it!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of He can be reached at