Ajax Council is encouraging young adults to “get future ready” by participating in upNext Ajax – a free entrepreneur and employment experience program for those between the ages of 18-29.

The online academy will run from October 26 - November 13, and will feature sessions on digital marketing, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and job readiness; all led by local industry experts. Unemployed or underemployed young adults will connect with local businesses to gain real-world experience that will equip them for the job market or a business of their own.

Young adults and businesses that are interested in participating in the program can apply at upnextajax.ca until October 16, 2020.

Quick Facts

  • According to Statistics Canada, the national youth unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 29.4% in May, 2020. The youth unemployment rate for the Toronto CMA (which includes Pickering, Ajax and Uxbridge in Durham Region) was 34.1% in August, 2020.
  • “Providing support and promoting youth employment by providing accessible employment services and opportunities” is an action identified in the 2018-2020 Ajax Strategic Plan.
  • upNext Ajax was introduced by Ajax Council in 2015 to facilitate employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young adults. The 2020 upNext Ajax program builds on the success of previous programs and has adapted to offer virtual programming.
  • Event partners include Kleurvision, Durham College (AI Hub and Centre for Cyber Security), Durham Workforce Authority, the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade, Siber X, Alleyne’s Grooming for Men, Speak & Grow Your Business, Drinks & Dragons and OPEN., with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The deadline to apply is October 16, 2020.


“On behalf of Ajax Council, I am excited that the upNext program is returning to Ajax, reinvented as an online academy for youth. The timing couldn’t be better as we continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19 on the labour market and youth employment. I want to thank each of our community partners for their role in making this program a success.”

- Mayor Shaun Collier

“We’re pleased to have the support of Ajax Council and our business community partners to help young adults “get future ready”. We all believe our futures are intertwined and we’re stronger together.”

- Don Terry, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism.

"UpNext helped me achieve my dreams and become who I am today. The education I received, connections I made, and careful coaching of the incredible people I met made launching my business possible."

– Andrew Neary, Owner of Drinks & Dragons Café

Learn More

Media Contact

Rachael Wraith, Corporate Communications, 289-314-4992