Newcomer Youth & Employment in the GTA

Hidden Talent: Unlocking the Employment Potential of
Newcomer Youth in the Toronto Region

Employment is an important need that newcomer youth have as they settle into life in Canada. Preparing for work, finding a job and building their careers in Canada are also critical challenges. With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), JVS Toronto (JVS) and WoodGreen Community Services (WoodGreen) jointly led a research project to better understand the assets newcomer youth bring to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) workforce, as well as the barriers they encounter.

The project was an opportunity for us to learn from newcomer youth in all their diversity about their correspondingly diverse employment experiences and what can be done to ensure all youth are able to realize their full potential. Through surveys, focus groups, interviews and workshops, we heard from youth, employment-related service providers, employers, educators and others on newcomer youth’s employment journeys.

Our consolidated report highlights the data and insights gathered by TRIEC, JVS, WoodGreen and our partners, and offers actionable recommendations to foster better employment outcomes for newcomer youth in the GTA.

Additionally, below are Journey Maps that tell the stories of four fictional characters grounded in the real-world experiences of newcomer youth.

While these stories help to illustrate some of the assets and barriers that shape newcomer youth’s complex employment journeys, they are not intended to cover the complete range of all possible experiences.

Finally, we developed three infographics that summarize important findings on newcomer youth and employment in the Toronto region.

For more information about this study, please email


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