Focus Groups Research Project

Focus Groups Research Project Overview

The First Work Youth Council is currently researching the barriers faced by fellow young people seeking employment in Ontario.

These Focus Group Discussions are the second stage of work in this project, so our researchers (First Work’s Youth Council!) can hear directly from young people.

The Youth Council will focus on 4 issues faced by today’s youth to determine how government policy can change to support their success:

The 4 topics include:

  1. From School to Work: How can the path be smoother?
  2. From First Job to Building a Career: Navigating Career Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  3. BIPOC Youth Experience: Young racialized looking for work – What is it like Looking for Work for Young People of Colour?
  4. The Robots are Coming! Will technology Kill Jobs or will it Create Opportunity?

The purpose of these discussions is to hear directly from youth about the barriers and issues they are currently facing in their career and employment journey.

This will help First Work gain a better understanding of the needs of Ontario’s NEET youth and figure out how our Employment Service Providers (ESPs) can support them!

You can read more about each focus group topic below, including the dates and times!

Registration Guidelines

If you’re interested in participating a focus group discussion and fit the eligibility requirements of the focus group, REGISTER BELOW!

ALL youth participants will receive a $50.00 honorarium for their full participation!

Please note that each focus group has a limited capacity of up to 10 youth and is on a first come first serve basis.

Once maximum capacity has been reached, registrants will be put on a waitlist and notified if a spot has opened.

To ensure that we hear from as many youth as possible, there is a limited registration of one focus group per youth.

Zoom links will be sent out the morning of each focus group.

If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kristen at aspire@firstwork.org.

Focus Group Topics

From School to Work: How can the path be smoother?

We often hear employers voice concerns over the ability of recent students and graduates to adapt to work – the school-to-work transition so to speak. The skills employers are looking for – soft skills like punctuality but also technical skills – are tough to develop without prior work experience. The issues related to poor School-to-Work (STW transitions) are complex and systemic that cannot be addressed simply by a specific program or change in type of schooling.

Work-integrated learning such as co-ops, wage incentives for employers, internships and summer opportunities have helped youth prepare for the new world of work, but the supports could be better.

So, we want to hear from you on how that path from school-to-work could be smoother!

We invite young people between the ages of (18 and 25) to participate in this upcoming focus group led by First Work’s Youth Council!

Date and Time:
Monday May 10th, 2021
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Virtual!

Young and racialized looking for work: What is it like looking for work for Young People of Colour?

Compared to the rest of Ontario, low employment rates and low income are more prevalent among racialized groups. Statistics Canada analysis has demonstrated that the challenges facing people of colour may be different within specific groups, such as among immigrants or women and men.

While it was generally understood that persons of colour face more significant barriers to employment – only recently has Statistics Canada collected data on the topic of race and employment rates.

We invite BIPOC youth between the ages of 18 and 29 to participate in this upcoming focus group led by First Work’s Youth Council! We’ll explore the issues and barriers faced by today’s BIPOC youth and how government policy can support them on their employment journey and success!

Date and Time:
Tuesday May 11th, 2021
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Virtual!

The Robots are Coming! Will technology Kill Jobs or will it Create Opportunity?

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the automation of tasks once done by humans has raised fears about machines putting humans out of work.

There is some evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate some artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics in workplaces. While there is a strong sense of where automation will occur (ie. manufacturing and retail sectors), it’s less clear where and what the new jobs created by technology will be.

We invite youth between the ages of 15 and 29 to participate in this upcoming focus group led by First Work’s Youth Council!

We’ll focus on what technology and automation will mean for youth when it comes to job and work opportunities now and in the future!

Date and Time:
Friday May 21st, 2021
2:30pm – 3:30pm
Virtual!

Register to book your spot by May 18, 2021!

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is now FULL and new registrants will be waitlisted!

Register here!

From First Job to Building a Career: Navigating Career Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When it comes to finding a first job, many young people face the same fundamental challenge: you can’t get a job without experience; and you can’t get experience without a job.

Youth today are entering the workforce at a time of greater inequality. Across Canada and the rest of the province, new technology is changing the types of jobs that are available and the skills that are required. Employers are organizing work in new ways to hire young people, like choosing to hire for short term contract and part time positions rather than permanent full-time roles. These challenges are likely to be amplified by COVID 19 pandemic.

And so, we want to hear from YOU! What were (still are!) your challenges going from a first job (whether it was part-time in school or a job to make ends meet) to a career (something you might see yourself doing for a longer period).

We invite young people between the ages of 15 and 29 to participate in this upcoming focus group led by First Work’s Youth Council!

Date and Time:
Friday May 21st, 2021
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Virtual!

Register to book your spot by May 18, 2021!

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is now FULL and new registrants will be waitlisted!

Register here!