Calgary youth get chance to connect with employers at unique hiring event

WATCH: The City of Calgary is helping connect the city’s youth with employers as part of a national strategy. Tomasia DaSilva reports.

Two hundred young people between the ages of 16 and 24 turned out at a Calgary hiring event Friday — all hoping for a real chance at a real job.

“My dream job would be to be a barista for Starbucks,” Tesha Daud said.

The bubbly 18-year-old has been applying for all sorts of jobs since the summer with no luck. This time, she’s hoping her luck will change.

WATCH: Learn more about the 2018 Youth Hiring Fair

The organizers behind this event are hoping for the same thing.

It’s a partnership between the national coalition Opportunity For All Youth and the City of Calgary’s Youth Employment Centre.

They’re hoping to find youth jobs, something that is not easy in Calgary these days.

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August’s unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 in Calgary was 15.5 per cent.

“They lack the experience to begin with, and because of the recent downturn they’re now having to compete against other pools of candidates,” city spokesperson Jennifer MacSween said.

“So it has created more of a challenge for our young people here in Calgary.”

READ MORE: Thousands line up early for Calgary youth hiring fair at Stampede Park

According to the coalition, it’s challenging across the country. It has set a five-year goal of providing meaningful employment to 40,000 Canadian youth.

Daud lucked out, she made the most of her opportunity and landed her dream job.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you want to go and work and do something and actually create your future, just do it!”