Transitioning to the future of work: an intersectional study of vulnerable youth and young adults

Reasons for the study

The growing adoption of digital technologies, sociodemographic shifts, globalization and ecological changes are driving forces that characterize the future of work. In Canada and other industrialized countries, the emerging challenges of transitioning to the future of work can be pronounced for vulnerable groups of young people, including women, visible minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ2+, and those with low socioeconomic status.

Designing future-oriented strategies are an important step in ensuring that young people are able to meet the challenges of a changing labour market and take advantage of potential opportunities. This project applies an intersectional theoretical framework to explore the impact of the future of work on the transitional work experiences of vulnerable young people and to uncover the overlapping structures that contribute to labour market inequities for different groups. By examining the work-related perspectives and experiences of a diverse group of young people, this study takes an important direction in social and public health policy to promote the inclusion of all young people within the future of work.

Objectives of the study

  • Through an intersectional framework, uncover dimensions of the future of work that will most likely affect the transition to work of diverse young people
  • Identify specific groups of young people who are most vulnerable to inequities within the changing labour market and who would benefit from additional support
  • Inform the development of policies and programs that support the transition to work of young people in a changing labour market and address labour market inequities at the early career stage and across the life course

Target audience

This work will be of value to government ministries, educators, employers and youth-based community organizations by informing their policies and programs that support the transition to work of vulnerable young people in the future of work and address existing and emerging labour market inequities.

Project status


Research team

  • Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health
  • Sara Macdonald, Institute for Work & Health
  • Kay Nasir, Institute for Work & Health
  • Ali Shamaee, Institute for Work & Health
  • Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health
  • Yani Hamdani, University of Toronto
  • Vicki Kristman, Lakehead University

Funded by

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council