Government of Canada COVID-19 measures delivering support for young people in Quebec this fall

News release

October 1, 2020              Sherbrooke, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on Canada’s youth. Many saw their summer jobs, internships and graduation plans disappear. To help Canada’s students and young people during this unprecedented time, the Government of Canada introduced a comprehensive emergency support package earlier this year.

To further help youth, today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, Elisabeth Brière, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that Actions Interculturelles Canada will receive up to $3 million for their
Mon avenir, j’y travaille project under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

This project will provide work experience to 200 youth across Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Participants in this program can look forward to job environments that foster mentorship training, skills development workshops and a wide range of other professional work experiences needed for their future careers. The project will also place a priority on hiring and retaining a diversity of youth through work experience and integration.

Parliamentary Secretary Brière also highlighted the Government of Canada’s recently introduced COVID-19 measures on supports for young Canadians and students affected by the pandemic, including:

  • Increased funding of up to $187.7 million for the YESS to create 9,500 more work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment. YESS projects managed by ESDC received up to $40 million for national projects that are providing flexible supports and targeted job opportunities for up to 4,700 youth aged 15-30, in the areas of social support services, transport, information technology, research and administration, and other placements that support community needs.
  • Additional funding of $61.7 million for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program to help expand the current work placement target from 70,000 to 80,000, creating 10,000 more placements for young people aged 15 to 30. To date, over 84,500 jobs have been approved, with approximately 3,000 opportunities currently available at  
  • Increased funding of $266.1 million to the Student Work Placement (SWP) Program to support up to 40,000 work placements for post-secondary students in vital sectors such as healthcare.

As was highlighted in the Speech from the Throne on September 23, 2020, the Government will build upon this momentum to help to create more jobs by significantly scaling up the YESS, to provide more paid work experiences next year for young Canadians. This will ensure that students continue to have access to the tools and opportunities that will help them build successful careers in the future as we begin our economic recovery. 


“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Canadians all over this country. And our young people here in Quebec felt the challenges as much as anyone else. This is why our government is working hard to help our youth overcome the barriers they face as they pursue their dreams and enter the workforce in this new reality. I’m immensely proud of the work we’re doing with organizations like the Actions Interculturelles Canada to support young Canadians and help them gain the tools they need to build successful careers.”

– Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and  Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, Elisabeth Brière

“Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow. In these unprecedented times, many of them are unsure how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their future. That is why our government is committed to ensuring that young people across the country have the skills and opportunities they need to succeed now and in the months and years ahead.”

– Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Mona Fortier

“The uncertainty many young Canadians have felt over the past few months can be overwhelming. But in Canada, we look out for each other. We value education and hard work. The set of comprehensive measures we put in place over the last few months are helping students get through these difficult times, so they can build their career and the future they’ve been working for. We are steadfast in our commitment to build on the measures we have put in place to help students during the pandemic and will continue supporting them in the upcoming school year.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Over the last few months, young people from coast to coast to coast have experienced unique challenges brought on by the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, they continue to inspire us through their leadership in their communities and across Canada. Our government will continue to do everything we can to support young people, especially as many of them return to their studies. The series of measures highlighted today will provide students and youth with the financial supports they need right now and for their futures.”

– Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Bardish Chagger

“There are too many young people looking for a work right now. Yet, at the same time, we know that employers in various sectors are experiencing recruitment difficulties. It is especially important to help young immigrants and those living furthest from the labour market to find job opportunities with the employers who need them most. We are proud to carry out this project in collaboration with our partners across Canada.” 

– President of the Actions Interculturelles Board of Directors, Louise Gagné

The Mon avenir j’y travaille project will create much needed bridges between 200 young job seekers from all backgrounds with employers from across Canada. These young people face certain difficulties, and we help them overcome obstacles and work on their future careers. We have developed significant expertise in enabling employers to hire young people and turn them into success stories. This greatly benefits young people, employers and our society.”

– Director General, Actions Interculturelles Canada, Mohamed Soulami

Quick facts

  • Under the Canada-Quebec Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Contribution Agreement signed in August 2019, the Government of Canada is also allocating up to $135 million over five years (2020–2025) to the Quebec government for regional projects across Quebec to ensure that young people have access to supports and job experiences they need right now, and for their future careers.

  • With the recent COVID-19 investments of $187.7 million for the YESS, the Government of Canada will be supporting an additional 9,500 YESS work opportunities for youth across Canada. 

  • The YESS is a horizontal Government of Canada initiative delivered in collaboration with 11 federal departments and agencies. 

  • In addition to the investment of $61.7 million made to the Canada Summer Jobs program, temporary flexibilities were announced to increase the wage subsidy, expand eligibility, create more job placements and offer to employers in 2020–21 opportunities created through to February 2021.

  • The Student Work Placement Program’s funding was increased by $266.1 million, other changes to the program include an increase of the wage subsidy to cover up to 75% of the cost of wages across all placements.

  • Over $2.9 billion was invested in the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which has provided over 700,000 post-secondary students and recent graduates with $1,250 per month in financial relief this summer ($2,000 for students with disabilities and dependents).

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough 

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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