Centennial College students and CivicAction expose the network gap in Operation NetWORK IT


TORONTO, March 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Centennial College students and CivicAction are working together to tackle the issue of the network gap in Operation NetWORK IT, running from March 9 to 24, 2021. Simply put, the network gap is the advantage some job candidates have over others based on “who they know,” which is affected by their socioeconomic status, race, gender and more.

“I have seen the ‘who you know’ theory proven time and again,” says Anya-Kaye Parkes, one of the students working on the NetWORK IT campaign. “Prior to making a connection with someone who worked at an insurance company, my application was repeatedly overlooked, even though I was more than qualified for the position for which I was applying.”

Today, up to 70 per cent of jobs are not posted publicly and up to 80 per cent of jobs are filled through networking. A lack of a network is a major problem that impedes individuals from finding fulfilling employment. With the pandemic causing youth unemployment to rise to record levels, it is more important than ever to raise awareness of the gap and the resources youth can use to help bridge it.    

The campaign seeks to inspire and empower the Centennial College student community to learn how to network successfully. Students are encouraged to share their networking challenges and experiences on social media using the hashtag #NetWORKIT.

“Our career services department offers many resources and virtual networking events,” says Alice Hsiung, coordinator of Centennial College’s Career Services and Co-op Education. “We need to spread the word for students to take advantage of these amazing opportunities.”

To learn more about the campaign, as well as networking tips, resources and personal stories related to networking and professional development, you can follow along on the Instagram page @launchyourcareer. 

Quick Facts:

  • Where you live, where you go to school and where you work can give you a twelve times greater advantage in accessing opportunity;
  • The youth unemployment rate is 23.4 per cent Canada-wide. Even more shocking is the fact that the unemployment rate is 32.3 per cent for racialized youth versus 18 per cent for non-racialized youth;
  • Youth unemployment rate for Black Canadians was at 11.7 per cent in October 2020, while the unemployment rate for white Canadians stood at 4.1 per cent.

About Centennial College and the Story Arts Centre

Established in 1966, Centennial College is Ontario’s first public college, primarily serving the eastern portion of the GTA through five campuses. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and partnership building. With a full-time enrolment of 22,000 students, Centennial is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. www.centennialcollege.ca

The Story Arts Centre is home to Centennial’s School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design, offering programs such as public relations and corporate communications, advertising, journalism, broadcasting and film, animation, art and design, and performance programs such as music and dance.

About CivicAction

Complex challenges need an all-hands-on-deck approach, and collective impact is what CivicAction does best. A leading not-for-profit in Canada, CivicAction has nearly two decades of experience working to boost civic engagement and build better, more inclusive cities by creating and implementing effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond. To find out more, visit www.civicaction.ca or follow @CivicActionGTHA.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: Anya-Kaye Parkes Centennial College, [email protected], 647-876-7242; Donna Lindell, Faculty, Centennial College, [email protected], 416-778-8844

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