MOSAIC Presents Research At Youth Summit

MOSAIC was one of five organizations that presented new research recently to an all-day conference in downtown Vancouver on employment services for Youth.The MOSAIC research focused on work placements for immigrant and refugee youth. The unemployment rate for immigrant and refugee youth is double than of the overall rate in Vancouver.Work placements give youth the opportunity to spend time working on a paid or unpaid basis for employers in Metro Vancouver. 22 immigrant and refugee youth; employment counsellors from MOSAIC, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House and Agora Employment Essentials; and 11 employers were interviewed as par t of the research.The researcher on the project, Natasha Bailey, told the 80 delegates at the conference that the immigrant and refugee youth she interviewed received many benefits from the work placements, including securing ongoing work; improving their English; increasing their understanding of the Canadian work environment; and feeling more integrated into Canadian society. She recommended that employment services for immigrant and refugee youth continue to include work placements. She also recommended that employers be more involved in shaping employment services for youth and in supporting them during work placements. For funders, she recommended that they add youth pursuing educational opportunities as an additional positive outcome of a work placement.The other research projects presented at the conference outlined the barriers young people in general face trying to find work; the challenges experienced by youth who are looking for a job and are living with mental illness and the role social enterprise plays in giving young people their first experience in the work force.After the presentations, delegates debated the potential of the various projects to address the high unemployment rate of youth. The research was funded by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence which also organized the Youth Summit. The Centre is planning to sponsor a demonstration project based on the recommendations contained in the research.