Tory to Grant In-Person Thank-You Visits to Youth-Friendly Businesses
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Tory to Grant In-Person Thank-You Visits to Youth-Friendly Businesses

The mayor announces a plan to bolster PAYE and encourage youth hires.

A preview of the smile youth oriented businesses have to look forward to in person  Photo by Bruce K from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

A preview of the smile youth-oriented businesses have to look forward to in person. Photo by Bruce K from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Business owners looking to be graced by John Tory’s smiling mug needn’t look any further than their own hiring practices.

Late this morning, at a Parkdale Starbucks, the mayor announced a deal to boost the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE). The omnipresent coffee chain’s new commitment to have young Torontonians make up 10 per cent of its new barista hires was the centrepiece of the announcement, with Starbucks Canada also promising to prioritize hiring in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas—that is, priority neighbourhoods.

According to Tory’s calculations, this new deal means that 150 youth across the city will be granted a minimum of 20 hours of employment per week, with full benefits to boot. But the mayor also encouraged business owners to follow in Starbucks’ lead, announcing an arrangement he’d dubbed the “Mayor’s 10 Per Cent Challenge,” wherein businesses who opted to make young people account for 10 per cent of new hires would be rewarded with an in-person mayoral visit and thank-you.

A refrain of Tory’s election campaign was to double the size of PAYE—a joint initiative between the City of Toronto and private-sector employers—before 2016. To date, the mayor says he has attracted 19 new employers to the program while renewing 13 more.

The mayor reported that one in five young people across the city is unable to find work. “Toronto’s young people are counting on us,” he said.

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