Innovative employment program kickstarts careers for youth falling through the gaps

DIVERSEcity’s Start it Right! receives continued funding to relaunch the employment program for temporary resident youth

International students and young temporary residents are trying to build lives and careers in Canada, but, not eligible for government job programs, these youth often don’t get the help they need to prepare for the workforce. DIVERSEcity’s Start it Right!, with funding from RBC Foundation, fills this gap. First launched in 2019, DIVERSEcity is pleased to announce RBC Foundation has come on board with continued funding, as part of its Future Launch initiative, to relaunch the employment program for temporary resident youth (aged 15 to 29).

“Many young Canadian newcomers — including international students and other temporary residents — came to Canada to build a future here,” said Kirsty Peterson, Director, Career Advancement & Innovation at DIVERSEcity. “Navigating employment in a new country is a challenge, and newcomers with temporary status can’t typically access government-funded career resources. We recognized this need and, thanks to RBC’s generous support, have created a unique program to bridge that gap and empower youth, regardless of their immigration status.”

The Start it Right! program offers free job placement support, industry-recognized training certifications, group workshops on employability, soft skills and Canadian workplace culture, as well as the opportunity to participate in a community project. Since its launch, the Start it Right! program has helped 47 youth get a solid start in Canada with more than a 96 per cent outcome rate for those finding employment or returning to school after completing the program.

One graduate, Harpreet, said: “Start it Right! is an excellent program for newcomers in Canada, offering valuable information about jobs, Canadian culture, and opportunities to connect with people from diverse educational backgrounds and career goals. It not only provides essential information, but also instills a sense of positivity when navigating a new country, unfamiliar surroundings and uncertain paths. Start it Right! is the perfect starting point, encompassing all the necessary elements for a successful integration.”

“We’re excited to be working with DIVERSEcity to help bring RBC Future Launch to life,” said Par Dosanjh, Community Manager, RBC. “We have a responsibility to prepare young people for the opportunities and ambiguities of the future. RBC Future Launch is a decade-long commitment to helping Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Learn more about the program here.

Photo above: DIVERSEcity Employment Programs team including Mike Lally, Asmaa Shahin, Alison Ireland, Nazia Kakar, Kirsty Peterson, along with Kevin Ebert, Sr. Relationship Manager, Public Sector & Not For Profit – Commercial Financial Services, Par Dosanjh, Community Manager, RBC, and other RBC representatives and past and current Start it Right! participants.