The Employment Champion for Youth Canada’s Employment Champion for Youth

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Youth Employment Services (YES) is Canada's leader and has helped hundreds of thousands of youth find employment and change their lives

History of YES

The Employment Champion For Youth

YES emerged out of the ideas of workers involved with the alienated youth of the late sixties and The Rotary Club of Toronto (RCT) which had a long standing commitment to social causes.

This new and effective organization quickly became the model for the development of similar programs throughout Ontario and Canada. Internationally recognized as a Centre of Excellence for Youth Employment, delegations from Britain, Japan, the West Indies, the Netherlands, Australia, Thailand, Egypt and the UAE incorporated aspects of the program into their own programs. This is a tribute not only to the effectiveness of the organization but to the university of its philosophy. 

In the 1960’s, the huge first wave of the baby boom generation came of age, ready to enter the work force. The labour market was not able to absorb all the unemployed youth. Coupled with the hippie cohort, the streets were full of young people who had dropped out; some used drugs, and had little hope or prospects for the future. Faced with unemployment and discrimination these young people presented a daunting problem to our nation.

A youth worker brought the dilemma to The Rotary Club of Toronto. After careful deliberation and research it was determined that these youth people needed a specialized service tailored to their individual needs. The idea for a specialized agency to help “marginalized” and “alienated” youth took root.  YES was born soon after.

Twenty years later in 1998, YES opened Canada’s first Youth Business Centre to help those youth who did not seek a job but wanted to start a business. Offering individual business skills training and help to attain start up loans, YES graduated hundreds of young entrepreneurs.

As a Teaching Centre, YES provides training to University and College graduates who have a placement component in their program to qualify for their degree or diploma. Students are trained in working with disadvantage youth in career counselling, workshop leadership, case management and job placement.

Today YES has grown to serve tens of thousands of young people each year in all our programs. Operating from three locations in high priority neighborhoods, hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged youth have been helped with a close to 90% success rate in jobs, training or education outcomes since inception in 1968. YES is the Employment Champion for Youth.

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