It’s Everybody’s Business: Engaging the Private Sector in Solutions to Youth Homelessness

About the study

The study examined community employment programs for youth and discussed the role the employers should play in supporting youth employment. Interviews conducted with employers, staff from community employment programs, and youth provided different perspectives about the barriers and challenges each group face in youth employment.


What can be learned from this study?

• Most employers felt strongly about being part of the solution to ending youth homelessness. However, majority of employers reported that while they had successful youth placements, they also had to deal with youth who were not ready for the job.

• Employers found that it was a challenge to hire youth with little experience in certain sectors, work with youth, and provide youth with additional support.

• Community employment program staff had to balance the interests of the youth with market availability, and they sometimes struggled to find a meaningful employment for youth participating in the program.

• In establishing a successful partnership between community agencies and the private sector, both sides needed to have an open communication, be honest, and set clear expectations of one another.

• Many youths benefited from these employment programs. They were able to learn technical and soft skills, as well as job search and interviewing techniques.

• Youths would like employers to provide a sufficient training and give them a chance to prove themselves. An advice youths have for agency staff is that they provide a more supportive environment for youths participating in the program.


What method(s) did the study use?

Analysis of interviews