Over the past year and a half, my office has worked closely with the Healthy City Stewardship Centre (HCSC) – an organization made up of community groups and public-sector bodies committed to supporting young people.

Our collected efforts led to a new report on the status of local youth employment, entitled – Unlocking Potential: Empowering Our Youth Through Employment. And earlier today, I was at a HCSC meeting to discuss how we can take these ideas and turn them into results.

What we have in this report is a made-in-Mississauga action plan – a blueprint to help our young people reach higher and for them to be active, engaged and complete citizens.

Our partners in the Wynne government committed over 750,000 dollars to help implement the recommendations laid out in the report.

The report identifies 10 leading barriers to youth employment, including a lack of access to meaningful mentorship opportunities; widespread anxiety and a lack of confidence; a lack of opportunities to showcase skills; and personality to employers due to lack of work experience.

Although, any barrier is discouraging I am encouraged by the ideas detailed in this report.

The work undertaken by the members of the HCSC validates the efforts and initiatives we have undertaken to help our young people reach higher, including the Mayor’s Youth Speaker Series and the Mayor’s Youth Expo.

Both are ongoing events. Please check back to www.mayorcrombie.ca for complete updates about youth employment and empowerment initiatives.