Report

Building the Bridge to Youth Success: Overcoming the Digital Divide

2021

Building the Bridge to Youth Success: Overcoming the Digital Divide

4 months ago 4 months ago Published by
This report was published by Tamarack Institute, MENTOR Canada, Opportunity for All Youth, Pathways to Education, Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, and NPower Canada.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

According to Statistics Canada, only 62 per cent of Canadians in the lowest income quartile have access to the Internet, compared to 95 per cent of those in the highest quartile. Over the course of the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide for youth across Canada. And no group has been more impacted by this uneven distribution of access to information and communication technology, than youth living in low-income communities. But as the pandemic continues to isolate people and lockdown communities, how do we bridge this digital divide for youth and get them access to the tools, training, resources and support they need to reach their full potential and contribute to Canada’s economic recovery?

In May 2020, a consortium of eight youth-focused organizations, supported by Employment and Social Development Canada, including the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, Indspire, MENTOR Canada, NPower Canada, National Association of Friendship Centres, Opportunity for All Youth, Pathways to Education and Tamarack Institute came together to collaborate and explore opportunities for collective innovation and knowledge sharing on emerging challenges and best practices. The impact of COVID-19 on youth became a focus and a Working Group was formed in September 2020 to discuss solutions to bridge the growing digital divide and how to raise awareness of this important issue.

The result of this collaboration is this series of essays that identify the multi-facets of the digital divide that Canadian youth are currently facing, and how these barriers are affecting their ability to stay engaged in education, employment, and their community. The importance of mentoring, the need for improved access to digital skills training and employment, and ensuring youth have a voice in designing solutions to bridge the digital divide, are consistent themes throughout each of the five essays.

Tamarack Institute, MENTOR Canada, Opportunity for All Youth, Pathways to Education, Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, & NPower Canada. (2021, May). Building the Bridge to to Youth Success: Overcoming the Digital Divide. https://www.pathwaystoeducation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Building-the-Bridge-to-Youth-Success_Overcoming-Digital-Divide-ENG.pdf

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