Opening Doors – Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

About The Program

The aim of the program is to provide individual counselling and workshops on a range of pre-employment skills to newcomer youth who are experiencing challenges with entering the job market.

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program primarily  works with newcomer youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years old who have experienced significant employment barriers. While the employment counsellors are especially equipped to support Somali and Arabic speakers, all newcomers who are PR holders are eligible to receive the services provided.

The three areas through which counsellors provide support are

  • Job readiness: Job searching, resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, computer literacy including introduction to Microsoft tools, job applications, etc.
  • Life Skills: Budgeting and finances, communication skills, time management, problem solving, stress-management, etc.
  • System Navigation: Information about the employment standard act, rights and responsibilities as an employee, interpersonal relationships in the workplace, finding resources, etc.

The employment counsellors provide individualized counselling as well as workshops tailored to the most common needs of clients. Our priority is to support clients through the navigation of job market and identifying resolutions to the challenges they face. The counsellors do that via sharing resources with clients, supporting them with resume writing and interview preparation, imparting technical skills and knowledge (such as using online job search platforms or finding job fairs), referral to other programs and training centers who meet the technical needs of clients, or other needs identified throughout the program.

If you wish to access French language training and/or French settlement services, please see here.

Pour des services d’établissement en français et/ou la formation linguistique en français, veuillez ici.

Who's It For

Newcomer youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years old whom are experiencing significant employment barriers

How IT Works

  1. Youth can refer themselves or be referred through a settlement agency, school, or other agency by emailing
  2. Eligible youth are matched with an employment counsellor
  3. Employment counsellor works with the client to create a plan to find and retain meaningful employment.


How do I take part in the program?

Individuals can self-refer. We also accept referrals from settlement and other community agencies, school boards, and all other agencies that work with or come into contact with Syrian and newcomer youth who could benefit from peer mentoring in the GTA.

Referrals can be made by calling 416-789-7957 ext. 3244.  For additional questions and information, please contact us at:

Contact Us

West Office
700 Lawrence Ave W,
Suite #480 Toronto,
ON M6A 3B4

East Office
1200 Markham Rd,
Suite #500 Scarborough,
ON M1H 3C3

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