In 2016, statistics showed the youth unemployment rate in Canada was about 12.9 percent amongst 15 to 24-year-olds. In Raising the Roof’s report, It’s Everybody’s Business “to secure adequate, stable housing, youth must be able to support themselves.” Essentially, sustainable employment is a precondition to access housing. Therefore, sustainable employment is an indirect, but vital, component of homelessness prevention. Raising the Roof’s newest initiative is HireUp – an online employment platform for companies to benefit from social impact recruiting, by connecting them to community partners across the country to source untapped talent.
In 2017, HireUp received funding from the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness (ISH) Grant administered by the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Employment, and Social Development Canada, and the Government of Canada. Part of that funding was to be allocated for a third-party evaluation of the program. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness had then evaluated the growth of the program as well as made recommendations on how HireUp can scale, and improve.
The evaluation had four main goals:
- To establish the program theory and develop a program logic model;
- To determine the effectiveness of the program in providing employment opportunities for youth who have experienced homelessness;
- To assess the strengths of HireUp;
- To assess areas of improvement for HireUp.
- Has grown significantly since it’s launch. 1st year there were 76 applications with an average of 6.3 applications per month. But between May 2018 – August 2018 – 305 applications have been submitted
- Lack of education and experience is the biggest barrier to employment. Some of the other barriers include Canadian job experience, language challenges, mental health challenges, and housing insecurity. YSO participants noted that stigma related to transgender and non-conforming gender identities also served as a barrier.
- With a success rate of getting 180+ young people hired in 2017, HireUp had generally positive opinions on the number and breadth of employment opportunities listed on the platform.
In conclusion, the evaluation measured that approximately 180+ youth had gained employment through the HireUp platform, and in addition to that number, HireUp continues to grow in terms of employers, community partners, as well as job seekers. We are excited about this new initiative and are looking forward to deepening partnerships with employers by engaging the corporate social responsibility team and adding a deeper narrative to the work all of us are doing.
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