“Give young people decent jobs and they will create a better future.”
That’s the message United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shared during a UN event on youth employment last spring.
But decent jobs can be hard to come by. The unemployment rate for young people in Canada has hovered at close to 15 per cent in the last few years — about double that of the general population.
Canada’s Professional Ironworkers have long played a proud role in the Canadian economy, contributing to its prosperity by training and employing skilled men and women as ironworkers across the country. With so many young Canadians currently struggling to find meaningful employment, we want to renew our commitment by helping create new job opportunities.
That’s why we’re working with the Toronto Community Benefits Network — along with community groups, government and other building trade unions — to help provide employment opportunities in communities that need them most. Through the network, our Local 721 chapter is hiring apprentices and ironworkers from high-unemployment areas to work on Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown project.
Ironworkers are playing an important role in helping build the Crosstown, a 19-kilometre light-rail transit line across Eglinton Avenue and the biggest transit expansion in the city’s history. We’re providing high-quality training for apprentices and even pre-apprentices to learn the ironworking trade. At the same time, we’re proudly serving on the team that’s delivering this city-changing project. This commitment provides crucial career opportunities for young people, while also helping ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.
Our work with the Toronto Community Benefits Network is only one example of how Canada’s Professional Ironworkers are supporting employment for youth and other populations in Canada. Visit our In The Community page regularly, for updates on this project and our other community projects across the country.