Talent Firm Venor Tackles Ivany Report with their Youth Employment Business

By: Meghan Sullivan

In response to the Ivany Report revealing that working age youth are leaving Nova Scotia and creating a shortage of workers to replace retirees, talent firm Venor decided to use their business connections to help young professionals stay in the region. Venor’s Chantal Brine says, “[Our Youth Employment business] was born by wanting to take action from a private sector perspective to help our province and region keep our young people.”

Since the program’s inception a year and a half ago, Venor has worked with over 850 local and international young professionals through one-on-one advising and client work, as well as through multiple group workshops and their online mentorship platform, Students2Mentors. Just under ten thousand international students come to study in Nova Scotia each year but it is reported that only 2-3% stay after graduating, despite a 2017 CRA poll showing that 78% wanted to remain in Nova Scotia.

Venor’s clients include the Schulich School of Law which is using the Students2Mentorsplatform to connect students with alumni, and Saint Mary’s University students in the Masters of Computing and Data Analytics program, all of whom are currently interning in the Atlantic region. Venor has also partnered with EduNova, a provincial education and training cooperative, to support 50 international students in finding employment in the province postgraduation. To date, over 50% of these young professionals have secured employment in Nova Scotia.

It’s important to Brine that students find a career that’s meaningful to them. “I can’t talk about this business without talking about [passion],” she explains. “That’s at the core of it…Work doesn’t have to be work…I think life is too short to do something you don’t love. I believe it’s also worth the work to figure it out. So that’s what we help people do.” Venor is exploring technological advancements that will allow them to reach a greater audience and bring their expertise into the lives of more young professionals.