For over a decade, Canadian youth have volunteered more than any other age group. In fact, 53% of Canadians aged 15–24 are involved in volunteering. This puts youth well above the national average of 44%.
If we engage youth effectively, we can keep Canada’s voluntary sector strong. As many of Canada’s seniors retire from their volunteer careers, youth will have a vital role to play in building healthy and resilient communities. It’s critical for organizations to give youth positive volunteer experiences.
In celebration of International Youth Day on August 12, here are 10 tips for engaging youth volunteers:
- Advertise your positions where youth are: online, in schools and in youth centres
- Allow for flexible scheduling to accommodate youths other commitments, such as school, work, friends and family
- Describe the purpose of the volunteer activity and how it will make a difference
- Assign tasks that can be done virtually or short-tem
- Offer opportunities that help youth learn job-related skills
- Organize activities that can be done in pairs or groups so youth can volunteer with their peers
- Take your youth volunteers’ opinions and insights into account by involving them in leadership positions
- Train and mentor youth to facilitate integration
- Give constructive feedback and certification where possible
- Serve as a reference to support your youth volunteers’ job searches
Click here to learn more about engaging youth volunteers.
If your organization is ready to engage youth volunteers, contact your local volunteer centre or the Pan Canadian Youth