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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

O.A.Y.E.C. - HIRING MADE EASY

Landscaping prospects for youth

When Terry Murphy, manager of Education, Training & Human Resources at Landscape Ontario, attended a government organized youth employment event in April 2003 he recognized the need for employers to make a commitment to create job opportunities for youth.
Terry Murphy, Landscape Ontario, (second from left) at a job fair with three non-profit youth employment sector staff.


Consequently, a partnership was created between landscaping and the youth employment sector.

"Many youth have no knowledge of the variety of career opportunities available within the landscaping field," Murphy says. A component of the partnership is the presentation of landscape career information to interested youth from across the city.

"I was amazed at the interest and maturity levels the youth demonstrated when participating in the information fairs. They appreciated the fact that an industry representative was being totally honest with them and providing them with realistic insight to employment within the landscaping field," Murphy says.

Job fairs

A second component of the partnership is the organization of job fairs. To date, three job fairs have been arranged jointly between Landscape Ontario and the non-profit youth employment sector. The fairs are arranged at no cost to the employers and they bring together a large group of interested youth who are actively job searching.

As a direct result of the job fairs, Landscape Ontario members created more than 30 job opportunities -- and future events are currently being planned.

Linda McGrath, project co-ordinator with OAYEC states: "Terry Murphy and Landscape Ontario have presented youth with job opportunities that they would have been unaware of otherwise."

Murphy acknowledges the importance of this. "While partnering benefits all stakeholders, more importantly, our partnership has created real job opportunities for youth," he says. "By making this commitment, we have invested fruitfully in the future of both our youth and our community."

To find out more about supports and services available to employers, call OAYEC at 416-323-9557. To identify your neighbourhood youth employment centre visit www.oayec.org.

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