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Civic Impact

The Road Ahead: How Ryerson is tackling the issues of post-graduation unemployment rates

On Thursday, November 12, the Ryerson Career Centre and Magnet - a social initiative co-founded by Ryerson and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - will partner for a one-day “mico-conference” on the future of post-secondary graduate employment in the GTA. Titled "The Road Ahead," the one-day conference brings together private sector experts, entrepreneurs, student career educators, recent graduates, and other stakeholders to examine best practices in the post-graduation employment landscape.

With youth unemployment hovering around 18%—and up to 69% in some demographics, such as among disabled youth—Caroline Konrad hopes that this conference will start addressing some of the knowledge gaps among the sector. Konrad, the director of the Ryerson Career Centre, says, “It’s about taking this conversation out of sector- or industry-specific dialogues. We wanted to bring to all of those players into one room and start recognizing we have a lot to learn from each other.”

The conference will focus on a variety of topics, such as disability-friendly recruitment practice, and how older graduates can tap into a job market that often favours fresher faces. It will also acknowledge the ways in which job-hunting has changed for recent grads. Representatives from institutions like the University of Toronto, Centennial College and Ryerson will be on-hand to discuss how they’ve adapted their career development centres to meet changing employment norms. “We have to get away from the idea that students come in their final year to get their resumes checked. It’s about networking, it’s about building yourself throughout your education, about how you’re articulating yourself alongside your academic studies,” Konrad explains.

Ultimately, the conference will be about looking to the future of career development and recruitment. Konrad points to Edmonton’s 30-year learning strategy for post-secondary students as a possible template for the GTA. “Our main focus was to get everybody who’s vested in this to come together. That’s how Toronto will start to reduce this 1-in-5 youth unemployment rate. It’s not going to be any of us on our own. It will have to be collaborative.”
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