This paper produced by Tom Zizys for the CfEE explores opportunities to develop demand-focused strategies to address youth employment issues in British Columbia.
In this research paper, Mr. Zizys examines demand-side — or employer-focused — approaches and their relative merits in supporting skills formation among youth who are in the process of gaining a foothold in the labour market.
Demand-focused strategies place their emphasis on aligning policies and programs with what employers do to meet their own staffing needs in a manner that supports employers in improving their HR practices while contributing to positive labour market outcomes for workers as well. They require not only partnerships with employers, but also linkages and partnerships among numerous players in the system to support recruiting, training and supporting career advancement among employees, particularly those at the lower-end of the experience and/or skills spectrum.
The paper involves a data analysis that provides an assessment of the recent labour market outcomes for youth in BC, a review of the literature concerning the basis for demand-side strategies and their actual application in practice, and profiles of encouraging practices among several Canadian employers that support better labour market outcomes for youth. It concludes with a series of recommendations for introducing a demand-focused approach to labour market policies and programs in BC.
The paper speaks to the shift in paradigm that will be required to ensure that employer-focused strategies are not simply add-ons to current efforts to support job seekers. It will require the adoption of new practices and approaches to make sure that employers are well-positioned to apply newly-acquired skills among their employees and to support workplaces that facilitate on-going learning and skill development, creating opportunities for employee career advancement as well.
The paper concludes with several recommendations for promoting a demand-led approach to labour market programs in British Columbia which have the potential to transform perspectives and tactics among all stakeholders, including policy makers, employers and employer-focused organizations, as well as employment services practitioners.
Mr. Zizys presented an overview of his research findings during a CfEE webinar on August 27, 2014. Click through to find a recording of his presentation as well as a link to his slides.
This paper is the last of five studies the CfEE is releasing on various topics concerning youth employment under our research programme, Understanding Current Employment Programming and Services for BC Youth.
For queries about this project or other research activities being undertaken by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, contact Shawn de Raaf, the CfEE Research Coordinator.