School-to-Work Transition Barriers

Funder: Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition (CYRRC)

Research team: Erika Goble, Sudi Barre, Alleson Mason, Benjamin Denga, David Burry

NorQuest College continues to push the frontiers in relevant community-based research, working closely with community partners. Thanks to a grant provided by the Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition (CYRRC), NorQuest has partnered with the Alberta Somali Community Centre (ASCC) to utilize their experience and past successes, to participate in a pilot project that seeks to understand the experiences and challenges faced by Newcomer Youth who are transitioning form school-to-work in Alberta. This exploratory project involves interviewing newcomer youth who are struggling with transitioning from school to employment as well as newcomer youth who have successfully transitioned to employment. Facilitators and mentors involved in educating and supporting the transition process of these youth are also being interviewed for additional perspectives and to determine the best transition support practices.

The data collected from this research study will provide insights and strategies that will inform future community-based school-to-work empowerment initiatives; it will also shape relevant policies and direct larger scale research to improve newcomer youth employment experiences. The findings will help NorQuest, ASCC, and other community-based organizations to strengthen how Newcomer Youth and their mentors are successfully supported to transition from high school or college to employment in Edmonton, Alberta and beyond.

At the end of the project, knowledge mobilization activities will discuss and disseminate project findings and insights with a variety of key stakeholders that include Newcomer Youth, community-based organizations, employers and educators involved in supporting Newcomer Youth transition programs.

In a time where the integration of newcomers is increasingly critical to the revitalization and sustainability of the provincial and national economy impacted by COVID-19, projects such as this can significantly enhance the employability and empowerment of Newcomer Youth in Alberta and Canada.