Start it Right! youth employment program launches

A new kind of youth employment program kickstarts careers for youth falling through the gaps

International students and young temporary residents are trying to build lives and careers in Canada. But when looking for career resources to help them succeed, they often come up empty. Not eligible for government job programs and services, these youth don’t get the help they need to prepare for a changing workforce. A new program — Start it Right! — launched by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, aims to fill this gap, thanks to funding by RBC Foundation.

Today, DIVERSEcity and RBC Foundation announced $50,000 in funding for the program at a rooftop celebration at DIVERSEcity Community Campus in Surrey. This commitment from RBC, part of its Future Launch initiative, will support the employment program for temporary resident youth (aged 15 to 29).

“Many new Canadian youth are eager to build a life here in Canada, but they can’t always access government-funded career resources to help them,” said Garrison Duke, director, employment and language programs, at DIVERSEcity. “We saw this gap in our own services and, with RBC’s generous support, have created a unique program to bridge that gap and empower youth to succeed.”

The Start it Right! program offers job placement support, short-term training certifications, group workshops on employability and soft skills, and even online mentorship.

“Our employment services staff at DIVERSEcity is already dedicated to providing skills training and job support for immigrant youth, and the Start it Right! program will allow us to serve other types of clients we wouldn’t normally be able to reach,” added Duke.

“Whether it’s retraining or starting fresh, it’s clear that the skills needed to excel in today’s workplace are changing,” said Stephen Pulham, Branch Manager, RBC. “That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our partnership with DIVERSEcity and the Start it Right! program, we hope to enable young people to identify, articulate and build their skills.”

Member of Parliament for Surrey-Newton Sukh Dhaliwal was also present at the funding announcement today and spoke about the importance of employment programs for youth.


Photo caption:  Presentation of $50,000 cheque from RBC to DIVERSEcity for Start it Right! youth employment program. (L to R) Vandna Joshi, Manager, Employment Programs, Angie Bortolussi of RBC, Garrison Duke, Director, Employment and Language Programs, at DIVERSEcity, Stephen Pulham, Branch Manager, RBC, and Belinda Bohgan of RBC.