Ontario partners with MLSE to create youth employment opportunities

Published On April 1, 2021 | By Alleiya Tinglin- Dystant | News

The Ontario government is partnering with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) to provide youth with employment opportunities and skills development.

Ontario will be providing $1 million over the next three years to the MLSE LaunchPad employment programs, said spokesperson Geneviève Oger, with the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services.

MLSE Launchpad is a facility where youth who are facing barriers use sports to reach their full potential. The MLSE employment programs will create future employment opportunities, Oger said.

“This program is available to youth between the ages of 15 to 29, with a particular focus on providing support and opportunities to youth who experience multiple barriers to employment and retention, including racialized youth and youth from low-income households,” she said.

Youth unemployment has been disproportionately higher than the general population. This unemployment gap has grown even further with COVID-19, Oger said.

The Toronto Fallout Report said youth unemployment in August 2020 was at 23.4 per cent. Racialized youth had higher numbers of unemployment at 32.2 per cent.

This is an image of a logo of an organization that provides opportunities for youth.

This is the logo of the MLSE launchpad the organization that has partnered with Ontario. The program is designed for youth facing disparities which allow for opportunities for hands-on training and mentorship. Photo credit: courtesy MLSE

Unemployment barriers among Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) still remain an issue as they are faced with higher unemployment rates, the Toronto report said.

The Labour Force said in December 2019 that the youth employment rate increased to 11.1 per cent from 10 per cent.

As a response to the challenges faced by these communities, Ontario is also allotting $60 million over three years to focus on the Black Youth Action Plan, Oger said.

The BYAP will focus on eliminating race-based disparities and provide opportunities for black youth and families. MLSE — the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Argonauts and Toronto FC — will prioritize supporting youth facing these barriers to opportunities, she said.

“The MLSE LaunchPad is a youth-focused community hub that partners with community and private sector organizations to co-design and deliver programming for children and youth who face the most significant barriers to opportunity,” Oger said.

Other employment programs are also available to youth facing barriers through Employment Ontario said Ministry of Ontario Colleges and Universities.

One of the programs is called the Youth Job Connection which serves youth aged 15 to 29 beyond job search and placement opportunities, they said.

The type of support given through this program involves paid pre-employment training, job matching, and paid placements. These placements include hiring incentives for employers, the Ministry said.

There are two components to the program: the first is a year-long program that involves intensive employment focused on youth who are not employed or participating in education or training, they said.

The second component is a summer program that supports youth aged 15 to 18 in high school there are part-time and after-school job opportunities, the Ministry said.

The summer component is for students facing challenging circumstances who need support and are transitioning between school and work, they said.

There are many opportunities available to youth and they are encouraged to check out the ontario.ca website for more details, The Ministry said.


Geneviève Oger, Lead Media Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services


Youth Job Connection




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