Mark Ryder, 21, is just one of many people living in Scarborough who is trying to find employment in an unsteady economy.
“I would hand in my resumé and I would never ever get a phone call back,” Ryder said. “I don’t know if my resumé was not up to par, but it was hard to do, it was hard to get a job.”
After a year of looking for work, Ryder was finally referred to Greystone Gateway in February.
Greystone Gateway is an employment centre that helps individuals prepare themselves for the workplace. It is a partner of the main centre called Gateway Cafe.
“We help our clients support their job search and that is everything, from helping them with their resumé and interviewing skills to creating confidence in them,” Diana Gatti the divisional coordinator of Gateway Cafe said.
According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate increased from 7 per cent in February to 7.2 per cent in March. This rise resulted from Canada losing over 54,000 jobs in March alone. Job losses were in the manufacturing, public administration and food service industries.
Gatti feels the economy is changing and people looking for employment need to adapt to the market.
“Young people who are going into post-secondary education need to look at that labour market’s attachments for the degrees or diplomas that they’re going after,” Gatti said. “I think research is important in this changing labour market and flexibility.”
Another employment service for people in Scarborough is the YMCA. It offers a range of programs which assist with people’s job search.
“To support those people we’ve got a lot of workshops that we deliver to help them get the job they want,” Garth Neilson, the manager for YMCA employment services, said.
At the YMCA, job seekers are free to come in and use the computers to search for jobs or have more in-depth guidance with one-on-one counselling. They can also participate in summer company programs where the government offers $1,500 to launch a business.
Both Neilson and Gattie are aware of the increase in unemployment but they feel there are still opportunities for people in Scarborough.
“Sure there are some industries going down and some picking up. The trick to it is finding where those jobs are … We try and connect with as many employer partners as we can in the community,” Neilson said.
Ryder hopes to get into accounting and believes this is the best route for anyone looking to get in or get back into the workplace.
“Yes, it’s so helpful to go this route. They’re training you to work the job you want. Even if you don’t have a resumé or work experience this can help you get what you need and help you find a job.”