‘Ready.Set.Work’ aims to get Ontario youth working

January 14, 2014  |  Michelle DiPardo  |  Comments

The province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has launched a new campaign, “Ready. Set. Work,” designed to support and promote its Youth Employment Fund initiative.

Since launching in September, the fund has helped employers across Ontario offer more than 5,700 four- to six-month job and training placements to young people looking for employment. The government wants the fund to create 25,000 job opportunities over two years.

Creative for the campaign was developed by Bensimon Byrne (which works with the ministry through the Ontario government’s Advertising Review Board agency pool). It consists of two 30-second spots running on television, cinemas and as online pre-roll ads.

The ads depict young people going to extreme lengths to land a job and gain work experience. In “Hire Jim,” a young man dangles outside the window of a business meeting in an attempt to get noticed. “Manager’s Office” shows a female crawling though the air vents of a company looking for the manager. She crashes through the ceiling of the washroom and hands a potential employer her resume.

Joseph Bonnici, creative director at Bensimon Byrne, said the goal of the campaign is to drive youth aged 15-29 to Ontario.ca/ReadySetWork where they can find work or learn how to start their own businesses. It’s also meant to drive home the point that, contrary to popular opinion, young Canadians have plenty of work ethic and determination.

“There’s a generational thing where the older generation thinks that the one behind them lacks the ambition we had. That’s a compete fallacy. Young people have an enormous amount of ambition. The youth unemployment rate is higher than the adult rate. We want to make sure that imbalance gets corrected.”

The media buy for “Ready, Set, Work” was handled by Zenith Optimedia. The campaign launched last week and will run for eight weeks in total.

Under the fund, Ontario is providing up to $7,800 to cover a range of supports and services for each eligible young worker. That includes up to $6,800 to help cover wage and training costs, and up to $1,000 to help young workers pay for job-related costs like tools and transportation to work. Eligible youth aged 15 to 29 and employers can apply online to access the fund through Employment Ontario’s Employment Service.

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