Finley announces youth jobs initiative 0
Canada's Human Resources Minister Diane Finley. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)
The federal government has launched a new initiative to help youth find jobs.
On Wednesday during an event hosted by the Greater Halifax Partnership at Nova Scotia Community College, Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Haldimand-Norfolk MP, announced the initiative would help about 3,000 young Canadians find jobs in high demand sectors.
The initiative will help address labour shortages in these areas by assisting youth in gaining skills and experience, as well as create opportunities for them to start careers in these fields.
Experience is often held in high regard for employers, but can be a challenge for young people looking to get their foot in the door.
“The barriers that the youth face are mostly around experience,” said Wanda Jacobs, manager of career employment services with Fanshawe College in Simcoe.
Employees need experience to get a job, but need a job to get experience.
“That becomes very frustrating for a young person because you are so eager,” said Jacobs. “Getting that experience is beneficial and necessary.”
The new initiative aims to break down this barrier.
“To help ensure Canada’s continued economic growth and long-term prosperity, we must take action now to address existing skills shortages and better equip our young people as they make career decisions,” said Finley in a media release. “Our government is committed to supporting youth employment and that is why, through Economic Action Plan 2012, we are introducing a new initiative that will connect young Canadians with jobs that are in high demand, giving them better opportunities to develop the skills that are required for today’s labour market and into the future.”
Under the existing national Youth Employment Strategy (YES), the new initiative will be dedicated to projects that will connect youth with jobs in fields such as the skilled trades and tourism.
Projects will be selected through two calls for proposals — one for Career Focus, which helps post-secondary graduates gain experience; and one for Skills Link, which assists youth facing barriers such as being a single parent, disabilities or living in a remote area. Both are existing programs under YES.
“Youth employment programs are part of the Harper Government’s broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce,” said Finley in a media release. “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce, so by investing in them we are helping contribute to Canada’s long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity.”
Organizations across Canada are invited to apply to be a part of the initiative until Oct. 19.
Organizations, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, crown corporations, educational institutions, Aboriginal organizations and provincial, territorial and municipal governments can apply for funding. More information is available at servicecanada.gc.ca.
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