October 14, 2015 09:00 ET

Youth Unemployment, Meet Labour Shortage: Innovative Mobilize Program Tackles Both Problems Head-On

In the last year, Mobilize has deployed 160+ young Canadians from eastern Canada to labour-strapped businesses in the west

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 14, 2015) - The Mobilize program has just deployed its third group of young workers from the eastern provinces, sending over 100 Canadian youth to experience-building jobs in the west. After three successful deployments, it's clear that this smart solution is filling the void left by changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Mobilize is solving two problems: combating youth unemployment and tackling regional labour shortages. Designed by Canadians for Canadians, this structured "employment adventure" provides labour-strapped industries with professionally-screened, semi-skilled workers, while offering young Canadians the chance to build the experience and connections they need to launch their careers.

Mobilize by the numbers

  • 160+ total young Canadians deployed since program launch a year ago
  • 100+ young Canadians in the field today
  • 3 successful deployments (January, May, September)
  • 13 locations in Alberta and British Columbia
  • 20+ properties have had Mobilizers working

Canadian youth are one of our country's largest untapped labour resources, yet the youth unemployment rate is alarmingly high at over 13%, almost twice the general unemployment rate. Young people are being overlooked for jobs due to lack of experience, but aren't being given the chance to get that hands-on knowledge. At the same time, there are regions that can't get enough workers, especially in remote areas and resort destinations.

In the past, employers turned to the TFWP to fill spots, but it has become increasingly difficult to use. Costs are higher, restrictions greater, and policy makers are urging employers to try harder to hire Canadians. Here is how Amanda Robinson, the general manager at Copper Point Resort in British Columbia, summarized the situation: "The hospitality industry has a system wide challenge with recruiting workers both highly skilled and lower skilled. The drastic changes the federal government made to the TFWP just exacerbated an already huge problem."

"So why not make life easier and give those jobs to Canadians who want them?" says Benjamin Guth, Mobilize Jobs program manager. "The workers are already here in Canada - we just have to get them to where they're needed. So we came up with the idea of a structured work/travel adventure that gives youth the chance to build skills and gets employers the staff they need. Mobilize is the only program of its kind, and really is a win-win situation for everyone involved."

Robinson adds, "Mobilize is exactly the sort of innovation we need as an industry. It helps with staffing and also does something we have always wanted to do: hire Canadians. I look forward to continuing to work with Mobilize as we strive together to build the program and capitalize on its success."

"Before joining Mobilize, I didn't feel like I was getting too far on my own," says Mobilize worker James Rocheleau. "Now, six months later, I've learned an entirely new field. I've gained new skills, got three excellent work references, and can now see myself pursuing a career I'd never considered. Plus, I've met great people along the way and made memories I'll always cherish."

Want to know more about Mobilize? Visit, or watch Mobilize videos at

About Mobilize

Mobilize is a new staffing model that works on a rotational placement basis, supplying tourism, hospitality and food services businesses with a continuous supply of young staff. Mobilizers rotate to different locations seasonally, so participating businesses always have motivated people who are eager and ready to work.

Mobilize offers young Canadians an exciting employment adventure where they work in and experience three amazing locations. It's a professional, structured program that provides youth with full-time, paid work over a one-year contract. Mobilizers live in each location for four months, working with a different business each time, and gain valuable work experience in a variety of roles. The program arranges everything from placement to training to housing.

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