A 24-year-old’s ongoing journey to finding stability and success in Toronto

How a newcomer from Sri Lanka is navigating Toronto's tough job market

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Twenty-four-year-old Archana Vigneswaran at Harvest Moon Park in Toronto on June 6, 2024. Vigneswaran moved to Toronto from Sri Lanka five months ago. (Athisayaa Prabagar/Toronto Observer) 

Five months ago, Archana Vigneswaran embarked on a journey from Sri Lanka to Toronto armed with an degree in information technology and driven by the dream of starting a career as a web application developer.

After an extensive job search she accepted a position at the Centre for Youth Empowerment and Community Services (CYECS), a Toronto-based non-profit startup that provides resources and opportunities to help support youth. To make ends meet, she also took on a part-time job at a computer store.

“I found my job through online job boards. While it is not my dream job yet, it provides enough to cover my basic needs and navigate life in Toronto,” said Vigneswaran. “I would advise other immigrants to actively seek help from community organizations and be open to starting in different goals to gain Canadian experience.”

Canada’s youth unemployment rate is rising

With one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 7.9 per cent, many young people in Toronto are struggling to find work.

This spring, Canada’s youth unemployment rate reached its highest level since 2016. These statistics, compounded by record population growth, make navigating the job market particularly daunting for young immigrants with no Canadian job experience.

“We see many newcomers from India and Sri Lanka in recent days,” said CYECS secretary Logan Logendralingam. “As a service providing organization, our (centre) would help the candidates find employers who need experienced and skilled people.”

On top of the employment challenges, newcomers to Toronto are also facing difficulties finding housing. Fortunately, Vigneswaran is living with relatives so she doesn’t have to worry about finding a place to live for the time being, and she can focus on pursuing her career dreams.  

Twenty-four-year-old Archana Vigneswaran at Harvest Moon Park in Toronto on June 6, 2024. Vigneswaran moved to Toronto from Sri Lanka in early 2024. (Athisayaa Prabagar/Toronto Observer)

Even though Vigneswaran may not be working in her field, she remains motivated by the belief that her move to Toronto will ultimately lead to a better future for herself and the family she hopes to have one day. 

“A goal I am working on is securing a stable job in my field. I think this goal will improve my quality of life and help me build a foundation in Toronto,” she said. “Ten years from now, I see myself well settled in Toronto, working as a web application developer and raising my family.” 

“Change is growth,” said Vigneswaran.

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Posted: Jun 22 2024 8:00 pm
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