• New YWCA Employment Programs

New YWCA Employment Programs Address the Unique Needs of Diverse Communities


Canada’s unemployment rate has fluctuated between 5.4 and 5.8% in 2019, with record-breaking employment gain in the spring. While these numbers are the lowest in decades, not everyone is thriving when it comes to finding work. 

  • Newcomer and refugee women still face many barriers to employment in Canada, including racial discrimination, low wages and a lack of affordable child care and social supports. According to government data, visible minority newcomer women have the lowest pay and the poorest prospects for jobs.
  • Women who have experienced violence or abuse often deal with a lack of confidence that can result in months or even years of unemployment. Sometimes even the thought of writing a resume is a barrier for survivors of violence attempting to return to work.
  • Many older Canadians struggle to stay in the labour market or re-enter the workforce after losing a job. In 2016, the average period of unemployment for people 55 and over was 28.8 weeks, compared to 21.2 weeks for people 25 to 54.

This fall YWCA Metro Vancouver launched five new employment programs to support job seekers with these unique needs.

YWCA Aspire - a 22-week employment program that assists newcomer refugee women in gaining valuable work experience in the non-profit sector. Location: YWCA Program Centre; Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

YWCA Elevate Skills - a 16-week employment program that assists visible minority newcomer women in navigating the Canadian labour market and securing meaningful careers. Location: WorkBC Centre Port Coquitlam; Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

YWCA Tech Connect - a 10-week program that supports newcomer women with experience in IT to secure a rewarding career in the tech industry. Location: YWCA Cause We Care House; Funder: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

YWCA Survive to Thrive - a 12-week program that offers specialized employment and skills training services for survivors of violence and/or abuse. Location: YWCA Como Lake Gardens; Funder: Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.

YWCA Job Futures 55+ - a 12-week employment program that prepares job seekers 55+ to achieve sustainable employment through skills training and employment supports. Location: WorkBC Centre North Vancouver and WorkBC Centre Midtown West; Funder: Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.

All programs are accepting new participants. Financial assistance for transit and child care support is available for eligible participants.

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