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Youth Break Barriers to Employment (YBBE)

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UNA-Canada's initiative to tackle youth un-and underemployment in positions relating to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

March 31, 2024, concluded the third year that UNA-Canada has operated the Youth Breaking Barriers to Employment (YBBE) programme. To commemorate this milestone, we want to share a summary of the programme and everything it has achieved.  


What is YBBE, and what were its goals?

YBBE aimed to support young people overcome obstacles to employment and find lasting jobs in Toronto, Hamilton, and St. Catharines. The programme achieved this by supporting youth (ages 15-30) to develop skills, knowledge, networks, and meaningful work experiences related to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In collaboration with Employment & Social Development Canada, UNA-Canada offered 21 hours of paid training to programme participants in the following subjects: 

  • Negotiation in the Workplace   

  • Burnout Recovery   

  • Networking   

  • Equity, Diversion and Inclusion  

  • Communication in the Workplace   

  • Career Coaching   

  • Sustainable Development and Activism  

  • Resume Writing   

  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship  

  • Financial Literacy    

  • Truth and Reconciliation   

  • Sustainable development and your career 

UNA-Canada's ability to pay participants for the time that they attended the trainings was a critical measure in ensuring that no participants would face a financial cost to programme participation. 

What is the programme's connection with the Sustainable Development Goals, and how does this link make the programme unique?

The 17 SDGs form part of a global blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet that were generated in 2015 and approved by every United Nations Member State. Given the historic barriers faced by racialized and LGBTQ2+ youth in Canada, programmes such as YBBE are essential in helping Canada’s youth attain an equitable future in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, such as Reduced Inequality.  

YBBE stands apart from other job readiness programmes through its alignment with the SDGs: we have worked actively to ensure that the employers we partner with and the trainings we offer advance one or more of the 17 SDGs, listed below.

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