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CHF Canada looks to co‑op youth for a fresh perspective, innovative ideas and new leadership in the co‑operative housing movement.
Youth and the CHF Canada AGM
The CHF Canada Annual General Meeting offers youth reduced registration fees and special programming, like a youth networking session as part of the Member Education Forum. Co‑op youth get the chance to meet their peers and discuss the priorities of youth in housing co‑ops.
Youth mentoring, job and education placements
In 2005, CHF Canada launched the Youth Mentoring Program, designed to place youth on housing co‑op boards and involve them in the governance of their co‑op communities. The program has been successfully set up in housing co‑operatives across Canada. If your co‑op would like to become part of this mentoring program, contact Dave Spackman.
CHF Canada also encourages member co‑ops to offer job placement opportunities for young people in the management and operation of their co‑ops through employment funding programs including the ON Co‑op Internship Experience Program, Human Resources Development Canada Summer Jobs program and provincial youth employment programs.
By linking with local school boards, co‑ops can offer opportunities to youth who need to meet community volunteer requirements for secondary school graduation. Students can take the initiative by working with their high school and co‑op(s) to suggest and organize placements.
Youth education and career development
CHF Canada has created opportunities to help co‑op youth gain skills and experience and become new leaders in the co‑op sector. These include the CHF Canada Introduction to Co‑op Housing Management program, the Co‑operative Management Conference at the AGM and Staff Association training conferences. Financial incentives may be available. For more information contact Dave Spackman.
Youth who wish to prepare for a career in housing co‑operatives or the wider co‑op sector can receive post secondary skills training through institutions across the country including the Institute of Housing Management, Real Estate Institute of Canada and the Sauder School of Management University of BC in Vancouver.
CHF Canada is developing a certification initiative that will recognize basic management training and experience and provide specialized training in housing co‑operative management. The program will offer a clear career path for co‑op youth interested in a rewarding career in co‑op management.
International internship programs
The co‑operative movement offers young people opportunities worldwide. CHF Canada supports co‑op youth interested in international co‑operation through our partner organizations internship programs. The Canadian Co‑operative Association Youth Experience International program and Rooftops Canada Young Professional Intern program offer overseas placements for youth between the ages of 19 and 30.
Youth leadership camps
Youth leadership camps offer younger co‑op members the opportunity to develop skills in summer camp style leadership training programs which combine learning opportunities with good fun. Sponsored by our partner provincial co‑operative associations, these programs are available across the country.
Youth who live in co‑ops can be eligible for academic awards (bursaries and scholarships) through various regional co‑operative housing federations and some provincial non-profiting housing associations.
The Canadian Co‑operative Association also offers post-graduate degree awards.
Student housing co‑operatives
Student housing co‑op offer housing for post-secondary students. Not only are they great places to live, as student run co‑operatives they offer students an opportunity to gain experience in the governance and operations of co‑operative communities. Through affiliation with larger organizations, like the Ontario Student Co‑operative Association (OSCA) and the North American Students of Co‑operation NASCO they are connected to the wider co‑operative movement.
CHF Canada members and youth
By getting involved in the CHF Canada youth mentorship program, supporting co‑op placements through internship, employment and secondary school programs and/or sponsoring a youth delegate to the CHF Canada AGM, CHF Canada member co‑operatives can encourage and support youth.
Co‑op youth can research the links on this page and bring information to their co‑op members and boards of directors.
CHF Canada has also developed a plan, Promoting Youth Employment (pdf), to help map a way for youth to become involved in the governance of their co‑ops, to participate in sector organizations or to work in the wider co‑operative sector.