Canadian Millennial Unemployment: How We Can Help - Refresh Financial

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Canadian Millennial Unemployment: How We Can Help

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Think about your first real job. Drawing up your resume with care, calming your nerves during that first interview, and finally getting the call telling you that you’re employed. It was exciting, it was a little bit scary and it was definitely confidence building. For most of us, though, it wasn’t easy. We had to work hard to get where we are today, leaving rivers of blood, sweat, and tears in our wake.

For those Baby Boomers or Gen X'ers, things might seem easier for millennials, with their technology and the softer attitudes our communities, parents and teachers have towards behaviour. Simply put, it’s not.

Youth unemployment was a problem in Canada before the financial crisis and has only become worse. Young Canadians struggle to find work as a result of the economic downturn. Even those who have attended college or university find they don’t have the skills required for entry-level jobs in their industry. Today it seems all entry-level jobs require work experience. But how do you get that experience in the first place?

There are careers that attract more people than others, leaving fewer jobs in those fields and more in others. Students graduate high school severely lacking everyday life skills. This is because the education system still puts most of its focus on academics over practical skills. Because of this, young Canadians are discouraged and deflated with the poor employment rates in Canada, and eventually just stop trying.

As a result, Canadian millennials  are living under their parents’ roof longer and longer, unable to find jobs or move out.

Like any problem, though, I believe there are solutions.  I think we can approach it from three different angles:

Kids need life skills and if the schools aren’t going to do it, you need to. Give them responsibility. Require it of your children, even from a young age. This is not only teaching your kids life skills, but it’s also a way to build their confidence in themselves. Think of all the things you were never taught, and wish you had been and teach those things to your kids. Your children should have the interpersonal and organizational skills to go out and seek meaningful work, pay their bills, and take care of themselves on their own. Setting aside an education fund for your kids is a must in this economic climate as well.

More focus on practical life skills is necessary, including the skills necessary to be able to apply for jobs, successfully interview for jobs, and maintain that employment. We can't even keep track of how many people wish high school taught them how to file a tax return. Yet these same people can recite Pythagorean's Theorem.

The  Government needs to give incentives for entering career paths in which more jobs are available. If the trades are lacking people, more trade education and training grants should be made available. If science and tech are lacking skilled people, more scholarships and grants should be gifted to students interested in science and tech. Many of these services can be found on the Youth Canada site. 

Our Advice for Canadians
The last thing anyone really wants  is to continue to live with mom and dad into adulthood (unless you're this guy). There are ways you can get out sooner rather than later:

1. Don't give up! Keep looking for work even if the prospects seem bleak.
2. Take entry level positions even if you feel you’re past that. Any job is better than no job at all. plus, you never know what connections you may make!
3. Consider seeking work in another field while you continue to search for work on your own.
4. Consider seeking government grants to start your own business. There is a ton of funding available to entrepreneurial youth in Canada.
5. Look for shared accommodation opportunities - having roommates to share the bills can lessen the financial pressures of moving out.

For parents hoping to have their basement back soon, try these tips for helping your kids fly the coop:

1. Require that they pay rent. This will put pressure on them to find work. Plus, it will provide help for those retirement #lifegoals.
2. Truly understand your child’s situation. Are they taking advantage of your generosity, or are they genuinely having a tough time finding work despite trying really hard?
3. If you’re pretty sure your son or daughter is legitimately struggling with finding work, go over their strategy with them. Help them where you can, perhaps hire a professional resume writer or help your son or daughter find appropriate attire for a job search.
4. Encourage your child to accept work elsewhere while they look for work in their field.  We are all looking for a job that gets us excited, but sometimes a stepping stone is required.
5. Network, network, network! Ask around to see if anyone you know can help find an opening somewhere for your child.

What tips do you have for youth having difficulty finding a job or parents who want their kids to move out? Let us know in the comments!

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