There is no doubt that currently, and more than ever before, Canadian youth have been greatly affected by unemployment. This deprives them from learning life-long transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills which are all critical factors that impact our growing economy. In addition, it deters individuals from interacting within the community, decreases their overall motivation, and many times, their mental health. If these adverse effects from youth unemployment continue, it is safe to assume that our future generations will be left behind. Not only does it affect their financial goals, but it also prevents them from gaining valuable life experience.
In 2020, about 16.7 percent of 15 to 24 year-olds were unemployed in Canada. This average is significantly higher than the previous year. As a part-time cashier since the age of 15, who is actively involved in the community, I can confidently say that being employed has helped me in several different ways. For example, over the course of my employment, I have learned new skills, and I continue to enhance and practice others. These include, but are not limited to: time-management, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, organization, interpersonal, and analytical skills. With that being said, I strongly believe this experience will only prove to help me in the future when I begin working full-time in my chosen profession.
Furthermore, I think that it is crucial and extremely important to start developing important life skills early on and apply them in daily life and community. This is where youth employment is helpful. However, as a result of this pandemic, the youth unemployment rate is now even higher than it was in previous years. Even those that are actively looking for a job are finding that opportunities are scarce. Youth unemployment creates many problems in our society and because of this, young people are feeling defeated and are quickly giving up. They are resorting to distractions such as substance abuse and other destructive behaviour. In particular, mental health issues have escalated to record high levels in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression, feelings of isolation, and even suicide are on the rise because of youth unemployment. This puts our future health and prosperity as a nation into jeopardy.
Clearly, the fact that youth unemployment is very high in Canada means that it is negatively impacting individuals and in turn, everyone as a whole. They are being left behind at a time when they should be building and contributing to their communities. However, I am hopeful that with proper leadership and support, our current youth unemployment rate will decrease, and we will have more opportunities for this sector.