Young Workers

The BCGEU Young Workers Committee is comprised of members 30 and under who encourage young people to get active in all areas of the union.

Check out BCGEU on Facebook and Twitter and the Young Workers Committee Flickr album.

Learn more about the campaign

It's not easy being a young worker today.

United Nations statistics say that about one-half of the world's population are youth, and unemployment rates among young people are of epidemic proportions.

The economic shift from an industrial economy to the technology-based information economy has a profound effect on all workers, but most directly on those new entrants to the labour force who lack the skills and training to acquire stable, well-paid employment.

Young workers face job ghettos as exploitive as those in any industrialized country.

In short, it's young workers who are getting screwed.

Consider these statistics, then and now:

  • Today, 58% of 16 year old Canadians are jobless compared to 26% in 1989.
  • Young workers in 1992 earned 30% less in real terms than did young people in 1981.
  • In 1994, 58% of single men and 71% of single women under 25 lived below the poverty line.
  • Most homeless youth are unemployed. An estimated 30% have legitimate jobs, and the rest turn to panhandling and the drug and sex trades.
  • Youth unemployment hovers at 20% -- and many young people without jobs have given up looking for work, and are not counted as unemployed.

Action Centre

Do you wonder what the future holds for our world? Are you concerned about things like climate change, poverty, public health and education, housing and government policy? Do you believe that global and local issues are connected? Do you feel that our economic system is focused on profit at the expense of people and the planet? Do you believe it is possible for us, as communities, to do things differently at home and abroad, to eradicate poverty, to deal with conflict peacefully, to rise to the climate challenge fairly, and to ensure everyone has access to good public health and education services?

Sign up for the Next Up 2014/15 leadership program!

There are many takes on the word “leadership.” Today we face a combination of interconnected global challenges, ecological, economic and social, not seen by previous generations. This moment in time needs bold, smart and determined leadership. Next Up aims to support that kind of leadership everywhere that they work. Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a big talker, or that you’re the popular person, or the funniest person, or the person who speaks in public a lot. You may have those qualities — or you may not. It does mean that you think about the world around you and you take action to make it a better place.

In Next Up you’ll learn more about yourself and your values, and about how to turn ideas into actions. You’ll be challenged with new ways of thinking, provocative speakers, inspiring mentors and fascinating guests. You’ll discuss solutions to problems like poverty and climate change. You’ll learn skills in areas like media relations, issue framing, project development, fundraising and facilitation.

You will meet people working in different areas of public policy and social change. And you’ll connect and work with people in your community doing innovative social and environmental change work. Next Up aims to equip you with the skills and tools needed to become an effective leader in movements for social and environmental change.

Sign up for the Next Up 2014/15 leadership program! (deadline: September 19, 2015)