Rising Youth Unemployment Solutions that can grow Alberta’s Tech Sector

A recently released Labour Market InSight (“Unemployment on the rise” publication of the Government of Alberta, Treasury Board and Finance – May 8, 2024) revealed a significant increase in Alberta’s youth unemployment rate (those aged 15-24). Since mid-2022, the unemployment rate for this age group has increased by a full 1%, to 8%. Recent data from Statistics Canada show that Alberta’s rise is the 2nd highest being experienced nationally.

*Source: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance Ministry Labour Market InSight, published May 8, 2024

The report identifies that the increase in the youth unemployment rate can be attributed to multiple factors, revealing challenges experienced by 2 specific youth groups which have one thing in common – no previous work experience: newcomers and a segment of new graduates:

*Source: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance Ministry Labour Market InSight, published May 8, 2024

This underscores the urgent need for effective strategies to combat youth unemployment and foster a robust workforce.

One such strategy is the general investment in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and youth employment programs. These programs, such as FIRST Jobs and (previously funded) NExT Level offered by Technology Alberta since 2019, have allowed for over 750 work placements – providing participants valuable work experience, while helping grow Alberta Tech SME Companies and the tech sector overall.

Continued strengthening of the innovation ecosystem by reducing barriers for tech entrepreneurs and small businesses, while increasing focused investment in talent development – will contribute to scaling up our tech sector, hiring and addressing workforce needs, and fostering economic growth. On that note – stay tuned for more information to be released next week at Inventure$ – on Technology Alberta’s new TechBOOST program, supported by Alberta Innovates, Government of Alberta Jobs, Economy and Trade, and PrairiesCan.

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