Creating Pathways to Keep Young Workers in Newfoundland and Labrador

January 7, 2015

A new report released today by the CCPA-NS in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL), highlights the complexity of youth employment, attraction and retention in Newfoundland and Labrador, and points to critical pathways for more effectively addressing these issues.

“The problem of youth attraction and retention in the Newfoundland and Labrador labour market is, in many ways, a case of mismatched expectations," said Dr. Deatra Walsh, primary author of Great Expectations: Opportunities and Challenges for Young Workers in NL. "While it is true that young workers’ expectations of high wages and rapid advancement in work they find fulfilling may be unrealistic given the current economic climate, so too are employers’ expectations that young workers will be ready and able to commit to positions with little security and minimal training, especially if pay is low and benefits are absent." 

According to Mary Shortall, President of NLFL, “This report underlines the importance of learning best practices from other jurisdictions to ensure that young workers have opportunities to meaningfully contribute, and in turn we all benefit. The experiences shared in this report of both young workers and employers sketch a roadmap, complete with signs that should be heeded, and ideas that might be considered. Government, employers, and unions all have a role to play.”

The report concludes that the Newfoundland and Labrador government needs to reprioritize action on youth retention and attraction, which must include meaningful youth engagement. Addressing quality of life and cost of living issues facing youth in NL including affordable childcare, and housing, should be central to any strategy.   

In addition, more accurate, on-the-ground, and timely labour market information would go a long way to dispel myths and panic about labour shortages and the jobs-skills mismatch, and help both employers and employees make better-informed decisions.


The report, Great Expectations: Opportunities and Challenges for Young Workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, can be downloaded for free on our website. For further information, please contact:

Mary Shortall, President, NLFL at 709-699-3112
Kerry Murray at 709-689-3383
Christine Saulnier, CCPA-Nova Scotia at 902-240-0926