Who are Opportunity Youth?
Opportunity Youth (OY) are 18-29 year olds not engaged in school or work. This is often due to structural and social barriers such as housing or food insecurity, involvement in the justice system, experiencing disability, mental health concerns, caretaking responsibilities, and being a new immigrant or refugee.
What is the issue & what can be done?
Youth in Alberta are struggling. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted young people’s training and education. It has decreased their mental health and reduced current and future job prospects.
OY are among those hardest hit. The pandemic on top of an economic downturn have exacerbated existing barriers to employment, training, and education opportunities. These include housing and food insecurity, caring responsibilities, and disability, among others.
Economic and social prosperity in Alberta depends on OY successfully transitioning into the workforce. Targeted, cross-sector action is required.