New campaign for youth employment launched in County of Oxford

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It is a campaign for young people, designed by young people.

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To help tackle the workforce crisis in Oxford County, a youth-focused attraction and retention campaign has been launched to educate young people about local employment opportunities.

“The emphasis is on attraction and retention. Young people can see what’s going on in Oxford County and connect with employers, ”said Sharon Dykstra, chair of the Workforce Readiness Plan Employer Advisory Committee.

“The problem is that young people don’t know the vast opportunities available. This project highlights careers that can attract and retain the next generation.

During a six-week campaign, young people, parents, teachers and the greater Oxford community have access to videos that highlight five different employment sectors with an overview of the jobs that exist in each sector. .

Each video is three to five minutes long and combines images of employees interviewed on the job, highlights of the different roles within each establishment, and information on skills and interests that could lead to a future career.

Videos are available on the workinoxford.ca website. Schools can use them to complement their curriculum and to increase awareness of available employment opportunities.

The target audience is Oxford County youth in grades 7 to 12. Videos will also be shared digitally through partner websites and social media posts.

Two of the county’s basic services are highlighted in these videos, including long-term care and wastewater treatment.

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“The end result can hopefully lead to a possible cooperative placement opportunity, and later a potential employment opportunity,” said Dykstra.

The campaign is presented in three parts: videos highlighting virtual employer tours that teachers and local organizations can use as an educational tool; pre-recorded live Facebook broadcasts; and shorter video clips with information from Instagram and Tik Tok.

The aim is to involve young people “through the eyes of young people”.

The campaign is part of the Oxford County Workforce Readiness Plan, an initiative developed to address the growing workforce crisis.

The plan, developed in 2020, was created in partnership with Community Employment Services, the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Planning and Development Board and Future Oxford.

The goals of the plan include increased collaboration, alignment, workforce attraction and retention, and reduction of barriers to employment.

As of January 2020, it was estimated that Oxford was facing a shortage of more than 3,000 workers.

“We are in the midst of a skills and jobs crisis that is having a dramatic impact on the economic potential of Oxford County,” Jeff Surridge, CEO of Community Employment Services, said at the County Council meeting of ‘Oxford Wednesday night.

“It is a constant challenge to replace and rejuvenate the available labor pool. But as always, we have diligently developed strategies with a myriad of partners to find innovative solutions.

Part of that solution, he said, is to attract young people.

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“Today, with the generous support of the board, we are launching a new, highly collaborative, innovative and holistic approach to nurturing the workforce of the future,” said Surridge.

The Employer Advisory Committee was established as a direct link with local employers to ensure that the implementation of the plan is based on real and local needs.

“The committee was created to ensure that programs and activities reflect the needs of Oxford employers. We are made up of local employers and partner with a number of agencies, ”said Dykstra.

“The private and public sectors have really come together and with the Youth Project it has been a great collaboration of time and financial resources from both sectors to help encourage our youth. “

Thanks to contributions from local employers, including County of Oxford, Dykstra said more than $ 40,000 has been raised to help develop and grow the program.

“The project is designed with youth in mind, as well as youth participation, not only to attract, but also to retain the next generation in our workforce,” said Dykstra.

“We want young people to stay, work and live in Oxford. “

For more information, visit workinoxford.ca.

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