Academic Literature

Employment Training for Street Youth: a Viable Option

2007
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Employment Training for Street Youth: a Viable Option

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Past research claims that there are two fundamental needs for street youth to get off the street and away from the associated lifestyles-housing and employment. Meeting these two central needs may be challenging because street youth are on the margins of both society and the labour market. It is difficult for street youth to improve their social position and withdraw from the street without a stable income and they face several crucial barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment in the formal economy. This paper explores community-based employment training programs geared towards assisting and improving street youths’ employment skills. Based on thirty-two semi-structured interviews with street youth in Toronto, this paper examines street youths’ perceptions of, and experiences in, employment training programs, as well as their suggestions for improvement for such programs. The findings indicate that while few youth obtain employment directly through their participation in these programs, the programs themselves offer many indirect benefits to youth including, increasing human and social capital, which may assist them with improving their social and economic positions. At the same time broader structural factors would seem to limit access to the labour market. Suggestions for program improvements and future research are offered.

Robinson, J., & Baron, S. (2007). Employment training for street youth: A Viable Option? Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 16(1), 33-57.

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