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How a Mismatch of Skills and Expectations affects Youth Unemployment

In our region, youth unemployment is almost double that of the provincial average.  Youth unemployment is 14.6% whereas general unemployment is 8%.

When people hear that unemployment is high, they assume that means there is a lack of jobs. This, however, is not the case. Contrary to popular opinion, there are currently a large number of jobs in our region. Many local employers, especially employers in the Advanced Manufacturing sector, are looking to expand and are hiring.

So if there are jobs why is youth unemployment so high in Ontario? Two of the main reasons are that there is currently a skills gap and an expectation gap.

A skills gap is when there are unemployed persons actively looking for work, and companies actively seeking employees, but there’s a mismatch in the skillset of that job seeker and the skillset needed for the open position. For example, there might be a number of job openings for millwrights, but there might be more librarians than millwrights looking for work. As a result, not all jobs are filled and many job seekers remain unemployed.

An expectation gap, is when students and job seekers plan their careers using misinformation. They might train for one profession, expecting there to be many jobs, but upon graduation they discover that there is an oversaturation in that field.


Labour Market Information is one of the best ways to combat these two gaps. For information on local labour market trends, check out our resources and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Advanced Manufacturing Tour

Manufacturing is one of Guelph’s top 4 growth sectors. Approximately 25% of Guelph’s workforce is in Advanced Manufacturing.

On April 16th, we organized a tour for students of Upper Grand District School Board to visit Linamar and Hitachi here in Guelph. Students learned about careers and opportunities available in Advanced Manufacturing.

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SHSM Arts & Culture Certification Day

The Career Education Council organized an exciting Arts & Culture Certification day on Tuesday, April 14th 2015 at the Wellington County Museum for over 100 students.

Students completed three certifications for their Specialist High Skills Major in Arts & Culture: Curatorial techniques, Observational Drawing and Framing & Matting.

Thank you to the  amazing artists and community leaders that provided an interactive and informative day!

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Our Annual Business & Education Partnership Breakfast

On April 10th, we had over 170 representatives from Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin’s education and business sectors attend our annual Partnership Breakfast. The breakfast was held at the Guelph Delta, and all proceeds went to support our local programming.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from students at Upper Grand and Wellington Catholic, as well as from our keynote speaker: inventor and social media sensation James Hobson a.k.a. The Hacksmith.

James spoke about his own success with innovation and stressed that anyone can be innovative. He explained that the key is to “start small” and not stress over having to “reinvent the wheel.”


To read more about James and his inventions, you can find him on twitter or at his website.

Overall, the breakfast was a huge success. We received excellent feedback from those who attended. Plus, it’s always a good sign when people stay long after the event is over to chat and network – we even have photo evidence to prove it ☺:

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To find out more about the work we do in the community, visit us at careereducationcouncil.ca.

SHSM Music and Drama Certification Day

On March 25th, students from Centre Wellington District High School and Westside Secondary School attended the Music and Drama Certification Day that we organized for the Specialist High Skills Major program.

Throughout the day, students learned stage combat from actors of the Stratford Festival, were trained in traditional African dance & drumming and learned music production from Canadian Singer-Songwriter Lucas Rogerson.

At the end of the day, students received 3 certifications towards their Arts and Culture Specialist High Skills Major: Stage Combat, Training in an Art Form and Recording Equipment.

For more information on the certification days we organize visit: http://careereducationcouncil.ca/pages/news—events/shsm-certification-days 

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Working as a Pastry Chef: A Career as Rewarding as it is “Sweet”


Chelsey Rae Hooker has been working in kitchens since she was 15. Now in her 20s, Chelsey is a certified Red Seal Pastry Chef with an impressive resume, not to mention on the Board of Governors for the Ontario College of Trades. As a champion for women in the trades, Chelsey strongly encourages today’s young women to explore and pursue careers in the trades. Having worked in a variety of different roles and environments, Chelsey has a unique perspective on what it’s like to work in Pastry today.

We had the opportunity to interview Chelsey on what it’s like to work as a Pastry Chef. Below is our conversation with her:

What are some common misconceptions you encounter that people have about your job?

One misconception I encounter is that people seem to think there’s a prevalence of female pastry chefs, which is not the case. Although cooking and baking are seen as traditionally female roles, the kitchen is still a very male dominated world.

That’s not to say there’s no support for women, there certainly is. Most of the apprentices in baking are largely female, but when you go into the kitchen, there are often a large number of cooks, who are mostly male, but only 2 or 3 pastry people. Therefore despite common misconceptions, cooking and baking is largely a male dominated field.

IMG_0029Was baking a hobby or interest of yours before you pursued and earned your Red Seal certification?

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my grandmother lived next door and she was a cake decorator straight out of the Wilton Cookbook. Two doors down, my other grandmother was a pastry chef who was classically trained in Germany. So I grew up with real black forest cake, and baking with both my grandmothers.

How does your job allow you to be creative?

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Being a pastry chef is a creative job. In Research & Development, I’m always trying out new products, looking to find the “next big thing” or trying to find more innovative ways to use existing products. In fancy hotels and restaurants, pastry chefs work with seasonal menus, so every 3-4 months you’re changing the menu. You might have some budgetary constraints, but overall using seasonal and local ingredients is the type of challenge that keeps you on your toes.

What are some examples of the different environments that pastry chefs can work in?


In my career, I’ve worked at the Prince of Wales (an upscale tea room in Niagara), a “Mom and Pop” shop, a Research and Development kitchen, and a Production Kitchen.

Pastry chefs also have the opportunity to work in traditional restaurants, fancy hotels, and on cruise ships. When I took my Level 1, my teacher had previously worked in Austria in a gorgeous hotel. The hotel was a chain so he moved from hotel to hotel depending on demand. The coolest part about working in a European hotel like that is that you get accommodation as part of your job. You would stay in a suite at the hotel, plus get to travel.


What do you think are the main advantages for students who pursue the trades?

One of the main advantages is that students have a higher earning potential.

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The trades teach you essential skills. For example, I started in pre-apprenticeship carpentry and ended up in pastry. What I found was that learning the structural dynamics for wood and construction, was later applicable for me with cakes.  I can apply what I learned in carpentry to how I build a sugar sculpture now. I can draft each sculpture out with architecture.

And that’s the thing about the trades – the skills you learn are transferable.  You can move between them if you try one and don’t like it. You don’t have to feel like past experience is wasted.

You’re earning while you’re learning. I tried university, and it didn’t work out. It’s not because I didn’t have the intellectual capacity, it was because it wasn’t stimulating to me. I’m better in a tactile environment. I need to see a direct application for what I’m learning. I have nothing against University, my husband is university educated. It’s just that university is not a blanket solution for everyone. The trades are where I flourished.


Just for fun question: What do you think about the cupcake trend we’ve seen rise across North America but also locally, with 5 different local bakeries making “gourmet cupcakes”?

I love it, I think it’s great. At first I thought, “The people starting these cupcake shops aren’t pastry chefs. Is that in Graphic 1conflict?” But then I realized we’re doing completely different things. Cupcake is such small part of the world of pastry so I don’t think it’s creating competition. So are so many wonderful entrepreneurs here in Guelph. It’s fantastic that they’re drawing attention to the trade of pastry and getting youth interested and involved in the trade.  The cupcake trend has done us a huge service. If for one second, someone is inspired to start their own cupcake shop, that’s awesome because they can see themselves as being a part of the pastry world.

IMG_0060 QuoteStory by Faith Cameletti. Photos by Cheryl Fayle and Faith Cameletti.

The Best Career Tips for Post-Secondary Students

If you’re a post-secondary student or will be one next September, check out our new guide on getting a job upon graduation. Many of the graduating university and college students we spoke to last year wish they had started their career planning sooner.

Below you’ll find the top tips we’ve found for gaining meaningful employment. The tips in the “Option 1” column are what we recommend for students currently selecting a program (for you to plan ahead) and students currently enrolled in school.

The tips in the “Option 2” column are for students that are graduating, may have already graduated or are in school but are no longer eligible for the tips in “Option 1.”

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