By Aryan Esgandanian

In the month of March, COVID-19 disrupted the well-being of Canadians and people around the world. There have been different takeaways and learning outcomes unravelling from this pandemic. Different sectors are overwhelmed and in the future, the direction of policies will need to change to support those gaps. What has been uncovered during this pandemic is a lack of preparation in planning for such a crisis but in addition, it has also revealed the compassion of some leaders and teams that stepped up at different levels of government and other sectors.

The aftermath of this pandemic will affect vulnerable populations such as youth. The global financial crisis revealed some learning outcomes. One of those takeaways was that it will depend on the magnitude of the crisis, and of course, the debt left behind from the recession (Keely & Love 2010). As a result, the companies and institutions will need to lower wages since employers will be struggling. Youth will become more vulnerable during these times since those positions will be targeted to them due to their lack of experience. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2019) reported that the global financial crisis has reinforced the importance for youth with skills to be able to integrate into the labour market and to advance in their career development. The population of Canadian youth varies, and they are not a homogenous group. Statistics Canada (2019) reported in 2008 that there were seven million youth between the ages of 15 and 29 in Canada. Would there be a matching system or a training model that could prepare the vulnerable populations of the seven million youth?

Furthermore, a clear pathway has not been in place for youth during this pandemic or a career matching system for people to be efficiently matched to employers. A model that could improve the training and connecting youth to employers is apprenticeship opportunities. In the province of Ontario, the Ford government had announced in its 2019 Budget to introduce a new “modernized, client-focused” apprenticeship and skilled trades training system (Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, 2019). The apprenticeship programs in Canada are tailored to certain sectors but if this model was designed for other professions, then the youth would gain experience. An existing gap is when youth are transitioning from school to work, and with the pandemic, this could increase. Parents have now become the teachers for their children, and there is no timeline on when they will return back to the classroom. A shift in the models for career development needs to be produced and apprenticeship programs should be taken into consideration. The future of the youth is dependent on better structures in all sectors where work­based learning should be integrated.

Author Bio

Aryan Esgandanian was completing her Ph.D. degree in Policy Studies and switched into the Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration program at Ryerson University. Currently, she is completing her research on Ontario’s apprenticeship model. She has completed her Masters of Education in Adult Education and Community Development with a specialization in Workplace, Learning and Social Change at the University of Toronto. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Ryerson University. She hopes in the future to return back to completing her doctoral degree. Her interests are in workplace learning, the transition from school-to-work, inclusion in the workplace, youth and community development.   


Progressive Contractors Association of Canada . (2019, April 11). Ford Government Unveils

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Statistics Canada. (2019, May 9). A Portrait of Canadian Youth: March 2019 Updates. Retrieved from

Keely, B & Love, P (2010). From A Crisis to a Recovery: The Causes, Course, Consequences of the Great Recession. OECD: