Starbucks recently announced they are working with the B.C. government to hire more youths – in fact, 10 per cent of all new hires across the province will be aged 16 to 24.
The youth unemployment rate in Vancouver is 14.1 per cent, which is more than double the average adult rate of 6.3 per cent. The coffee giant is partnering with the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation to try and combat unemployment by providing jobs to what they call “opportunity youth.”
“They’re not working, they’re not in school, they’re not currently in training, but they are highly motivated and have a strong desire to work that are facing barriers to finding employment,” Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick with Starbucks public affairs told Vancity Buzz.
The barriers Löwenborg-Frick refers to could be anything from not having finished school to not having a strong network of people who can introduce them to potential employers. She says they are a fantastic untapped resource.
“They just need the extra help to get into gainful employment.”
Working with the government, the number of jobs Starbucks would set aside for youth is around 330 over a period of three years.
WorkBC will also provide transit tickets and work clothes to participating youth so they can maintain their jobs.
The opportunity youth project was initially launched in April of this year in Toronto, and it’s now being rolled out in Vancouver and Montreal. Starbucks hired 109 youths over a period of six months, and 106 still work with them to this day.
“These are people who are incredibly motivated and want to work and they’re committed to being the best possible employees they can,” said Löwenborg-Frick.
As it stands, 73 per cent of Starbucks employees are under the age of 24.