DWA launches its 2016 Durham Under 30 Survey

In response to a steepening youth unemployment rate in the Oshawa Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the Durham Workforce Authority is launching its Durham Under 30 Survey.

Several community consultations with service providers, the Boys and Girls Club of Durham Region, Family Court Clinic, E-Camp Mentoring, UpNext Ajax team, and the planning team for Oshawa’s 3 Point Plan for Youth Employment indicated  existing labour market base indicators did not identify skills gaps and service needs for the 15-29 population.

This isn’t the first time such a survey has been taken. In 2013 the DWA conducted its first survey of Durham youth.  The survey results were used to better understand local organization programming needs.

The Durham Under 30 Survey includes an assessment of five of the nine federally identified essential skills. These results can be compared against the LEPC Employer Survey to contrast the essential skill levels of youth against the essential skills.

In May 2016, youth unemployment (15-24 years old) in Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington was 13.7 per cent compared to the same CMA population of 25-44 with an unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area has had one of the highest youth unemployment rates.

Further, the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) shows 40 per cent of youth are employed in one of 10 occupations, most of which are entry level occupations with limited opportunity for growth. In order to address an aging workforce, Durham Region needs to attract and retain youth populations.

Results compiled from the survey’s data helps to inform local employers and educational institutions in making better employment, training and program planning decisions. It also provides just-in-time local labour market information that is more detailed than data obtained through secondary sources allowing employers, Employment Ontario service providers and community service organizations to better serve Durham Region youth’s unique service needs.

Our goals for the 2016 Durham Under 30 Survey
•    Increase global response rates from 800 to 1,000 completed surveys.
•    Increase response rates of 20-24 year olds from 86 respondents to 120 respondents.
•    Share survey results through four community presentations. This will provide an 80 per cent increase in understanding of youth service needs and labour force attachment.

The Durham Under 30 Survey will deepen the understanding of the under 30 population and allow community organizations, educational institutions and employers to adjust programs and services offered. In addition, the survey will allow for more wholesome discussions about systemic youth unemployment and under-employment.

Previous survey results have been shared with the broader community, in both raw data responses and presentation reports via the Employment Ontario Service Providers meetings, the Literacy Service Coordination meetings, Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, the Durham District School Board, the Durham Catholic District School Board and community based service providers outside the Employment Ontario network.

The survey results have been used to initiate community projects such as the City of Oshawa’s 3 Point Plan for Youth Employment and Hope, the Town of Ajax’s Up Next Ajax initiative, and a youth employment grant for Ajax Library.

Survey participants can fill out the survey one line with an option to fill out a ballot to win one of several prizes.  The prizes will be drawn once the survey closes in December.

To fill out the survey, click here: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/durhamunder30/