Partnering for Success in Youth Employment (PSYE) is a collective impact initiative to improve labour market outcomes for 15-29 year olds in Ottawa. We will increase participation in the labour market and other employment outcomes, by creating pathways to economic opportunities (employment and entrepreneurship) for youth living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. PSYE is coordinated by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa and currently has 18 partners.
(See also: Overview)
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PSYE was launched in 2015 to mobilize a broad cross section of the community to improve unemployment and under-employment of 15-29 year olds in Ottawa, by increasing economic opportunities for youth (employment and entrepreneurship). The initiative is comprised of four inter-related strategies:
1. Building effective systems and cross-sector collaboration
2. Ensuring youth are well prepared to support the new economy, with “credentials” to prove it
3. Creating effective pathways for youth to connect to meaningful economic opportunities
4. Making the existing local job market transparent (especially small and medium enterprises) and expanding sustainable local economic opportunities.
The first three strategies are implemented at the neighbourhood level, building on the knowledge of community development teams in priority neighbourhoods about their local businesses, youth and services. Activities will be piloted in 4 neighbourhoods and scaled to 12 neighbourhoods.
The fourth strategy occurs at the City-wide level, bringing diverse sectors together around mutually reinforcing activities informed by the neighbourhood work. We will engage business, increase agency collaboration and transition governance from agencies to a cross sector table.
PSYE is based on research produces in collaboration with “Youth Leadership for Change”, highlighting that:
- the labour market has changed dramatically
- most hiring happens through the “hidden job market” (i.e. personal connections)
- improvement in youth employment is beyond the capacity of agencies alone and particularly requires the active engagement of business.
PSYE is led by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, with the active and generous participation of over 20 partners, including community health and resource centres (comprising youth, neighbourhood community development and employment services), the United Way Ottawa re community wide change initiatives, a collaborative of youth researchers, youth serving members from the Ottawa Ethno-cultural Coalition representing groups facing exclusion in the labour market and academia. The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative provides the senior governance role, as it incorporates senior management from all of the primary youth serving sectors. Governance is being transferred to a new “Roundtable on Youth Employment”.
In 2015, with youth from “Youth Leadership for Change”, we completed a participatory service mapping initiative identifying what’s working in employment supports for youth as well as key gaps and opportunities for collaboration. The research is feeding into a new partnership-based career oriented mentoring initiative and the action plan of the recently established Local Employment Planning Council.
With youth in “Youth Leadership for Change”, we also completed a neighbourhood research project with employers in four neighbourhoods (Carling near Bayshore, Walkley east from Bank, Donald and Queen Mary, Byward Market). We are working with neighbourhood-based stakeholders to enhance supports for community economic development in neighbourhoods and targeted economic sectors (for example, see BGFT). (See the Update to the OCYI Council of Partners, Feb 19, 2016)
We are currently seeking entrepreneurs to volunteer for our “Business Advisory Table”.