Transportation biggest job barrier: report

January 22, 2015

Transportation is the largest barrier for at-risk youth trying to get jobs in B.C., according to a new report from McCreary Centre Society that surveyed 150 youth.

Annie Smith, executive director at the society, said on Thursday transportation is a problem for youth both in rural and urban communities.

But youth particularly find some rural and remote communities challenging to find work. One youth in the survey, she said, was from a northern B.C. town that didn’t even have a single retail or quick service restaurant within it — occupations that typically attract youth in the 15-24 year range.

Some of the issues include not having access to a personal vehicle because of cost, and lack of availability of public transit. Some youth reported working on graveyard shifts and being unable to travel to and from work because of the odd hours.

“Certainly one of the suggestions was that employment programs help with their transit costs. Some youth are making minimum wage, they get to work and they get sent home again because there’s too many people on the shift — and they’re out of pocket by the time they pay transit both ways,” Smith said.

In the survey, 45% of youth reported transportation was a challenge to find a job. That concern was followed closely by how 41% of youth felt they lacked the skills or education to find work.

“We heard most of the people in the urban places say they didn’t feel they were given a chance,” Smith said.

“Going to Metrotown with a CV, and going shop to shop and not getting anywhere.”

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver | Link to Article