There has been much talk about the recently released Ivany report and what needs to be done to grow Nova Scotia’s economy. StudentsNS, the alliance of Nova Scotia post-secondary student associations, is taking action to do something about our talent issue. Within weeks, they (along with partner organizations like Digital NS and the Greater Halifax Partnership) have put together a comprehensive and robust conference with stellar panels and breakout sessions to address some of the issues surrounding youth in our economy.
The Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy has described Nova Scotia’s economic circumstances as a ‘crisis’. Our 20-64 year-old population is expected to shrink by 21% between 2009 and 2034. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s youth unemployment rate sits at 19.5%, compared to a national average of just 14%, which is a major factor in youth out-migration. In other words, drastic measures need to be taken just to sustain our economy, let alone grow it.
Jonathan Williams, the Executive Director of StudentsNS really took the “Now or Never” tagline to heart, saying “This event is all about bringing together young people and decision-makers to understand our challenges and opportunities, and build a movement where we each take action to turn around youth economic outcomes in Nova Scotia... Given the choice between now or never, we’re opting for now.”
Topics will range from Youth Migration and Retention, to immigration and entrepreneurship - all major focus points of the Ivany Report. A more complete agenda can be found here. The media attention surrounding this conference has grown, and it has almost developed into a movement by the youth in this province that are passionate about finding great career opportunities and staying here in Nova Scotia. It is truly inspiring to see a rally like this, with government, private sector and students coming together and I’m excited to see what action will come from this first step to engage and support our youth in staying here. There is still time to register, and I urge you to join us at Dalhousie University on March 20th, 2014 for this very important discussion. You can register here. It’s Now or Never.
Sasha is the Project Coordinator for the Young and Emerging Talent stream of the Partnership's Connector Program.