Burnaby businesses broaden recruitment strategies

The Burnaby Board of Trade partnered with the Reboot Plus program

“Common across all sectors in Burnaby is the challenge of finding and acquiring talent. Our businesses are growing at a significant rate yet it’s a challenge to fill the roles. We’re looking for opportunities to broaden the recruitment pool for our businesses. The Reboot Plus program opens an area of recruitment that is outside of our normative thinking and helps multiple stakeholders find success. Youth gain connections and realize the contributions they can make in our community while businesses attract new talent to help their growth.” Paul Holden, CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade shares the importance of collaborating to help Burnaby’s vulnerable youth find their purpose and their potential.

Redirecting vulnerable youth through hope-centred education and career development

Students are recruited to participate in the Reboot Plus program if they are not on track to graduate high school and have no plans for their future. Burnaby Schools staff and counsellors refer students to the Douglas College campus for a 16-week hope-centred career and education program that compliments their high school studies. Youth identify their values, personality, interests, and skills, then meet with 4-7 professionals for informational interviews. They walk away with an education and career plan and a solid understanding of their next steps.

Helping youth contribute to the Burnaby economy in a meaningful way

Carpenter holding wood while cutting with tools


“Some of our students will continue to post-secondary, others to trades, and some will jump right into the workforce. There’s no better place to learn than when they’re young and going through school. If we wait too long to intervene with those who are struggling, it will be harder for them than it needs to be” says Holden. “We have a group of young people who want to contribute to the workforce but have had challenges along the way. This program helps them find themselves back on the right path to become part of the workforce and contribute in a meaningful way.”

Making connections

“As a convener, the Burnaby Board of Trade brings together employers and potential employees to build meaningful connections while helping our youth explore their options. We need to ensure that young people realize the opportunities available to them so they can contribute in a way that makes sense to them. Students need every opportunity to make it to the finish line. Our collaboration with Burnaby Schools, Douglas College, and our businesses are pulling together to help our youth and our local economy thrive” says Holden.

Preparing youth for success through mentorship


“While the schools and colleges prepare youth for their next steps, our business leaders can help through their mentorship. It’s important to share our knowledge and experiences to help youth realize what’s involved in the working economy and what fosters success. I have participated in many mentorship programs. It feels good to contribute to the development of individuals and their future successes. The more supportive our businesses are of programs such as this, the better prepared our workforce will be” Holden says. Informational interviews with the Reboot Plus program are as little as 30-60 minutes of time for a professional and the ripple effects of your time are insurmountable.

Providing youth with their available options

Professionals who meet with youth from the program learn there’s not much to be gained by generalizing about workforce generations. “Workers want to work,” says Holden. “Employers are aware of the trends of flexibility in working hours, remote work, and mental health needs. Ultimately, it comes down to business and their employers to realize if they are the right match. By matching youth with multiple professionals, they gain a broader insight as to types and styles of working conditions that are available to them, while employers learn more about the needs of prospective employees.”

Working with multiple stakeholders to help youth thrive

“The collaborative nature of this model is essential for its success. Having multiple partners invested ensures a greater chance of success. Really good groups pulling together is critically important right now. We all need to take part and do our best to make this successful. Anytime we have a chance to contribute to a program like this, we will” Holden states. We agree. This program has helped youth across Canada reengage in their education and career development and find their path to a promising future.

The Reboot Plus project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.
Le projet Reboot Plus est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.