Helping young Canadians facing barriers to employment
May 27, 2021 Edmonton, Alberta Employment and Social Development Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on all Canadians, but especially on young Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make historic investments to ensure that youth have the supports and opportunities they need to build long and successful careers.
Today the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, met virtually with participants from two organizations in Edmonton to discuss their projects funded through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).
NorQuest College is receiving over $7 million for their Autism CanTech! project. This project is helping 260 autistic youth overcome barriers to employment in the digital economy.
The EmployAbilities Society of Alberta is receiving over $3 million for their project, Learn 2 Earn. This project is helping 228 youth by giving them the supports they need to develop workforce skills, and obtain and keep employment.
The Government of Canada has invested up to $59 million for more than 27 YESS projects across Alberta, to ensure that students and all young people have access to supports and job experiences they need right now, and for their future careers.
Supporting youth and ensuring their inclusion in all aspects of the economic recovery takes a collaborative and dynamic approach. Through Budget 2021, the Government is proposing to invest an additional $5.7 billion over the next five years to help young Canadians pursue and complete their education, acquire new skills and get hired. This is on top of the $7.4 billion already invested in supporting young Canadians during the pandemic. Thousands more young Canadians will be able to benefit from the following historic Government actions:
- 30,600 new job placements through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy in 2021–22;
- 220,000 job placements through Canada Summer Jobs over the program’s 2021 and 2022 seasons;
- 50,000 work-integrated learning placements through the Student Work Placement Program in 2021–22;
- at least 85,000 work-integrated learning placements through Mitacs over the next five years starting in 2021–22; and
- 28,000 training and work opportunities for young Canadians through the Canada Digital Technology Adoption program in 2021–22.
More than 150,000 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) opportunities have been made available to young Canadians across Canada as of April 26, 2021 - including 4,600 in Edmonton. CSJ offers something for everyone, with opportunities available across a wide variety of fields, including community and charity work, food industries, recreation and fitness, marketing and public relations, landscaping and farm labour, and many others.
Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world.
“Creating more opportunities for young people to gain the valuable skills and experience they need is more important now than ever. We know young Canadians today are facing unprecedented challenges, with disruptions in their job placements, studies and internships. Partners like NorQuest College and the EmployAbilities Association of Alberta are creating life-changing opportunities by helping youth facing barriers to entering the labour market get the skills and professional training they need to build their future careers.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Youth have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, they have stepped up to advocate, volunteer, and serve in their communities throughout the pandemic. Our investments in young people across the country through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy ensure that students and all young people have access to supports and job experiences they need right now, and for their future careers.”
– The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies
Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. These measures include:
- Supporting over 7,000 additional job placements through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. This will make it easier for young people to get good jobs, and better meet the needs of vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers to employment. This builds on funding announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which is expected to result in over 30,600 new placements in 2021-22.
- Investing $17.6 billion in a green recovery that will help Canada to reach its target to conserve 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, exceed its Paris climate targets, reduce emissions by 36% below 2005 levels by 2030, and move forward on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
In April 2020, the Government of Canada invested $492 million over three years, through ESDC’s YESS program, for 269 projects across Canada to help young people, facing barriers to employment successfully transition to the labour market.
To support youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced in April and June 2020 increased funding by up to $187.7 million to the YESS program 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 and regional programs that are providing flexible supports and targeted job opportunities for up to 6,200 youth aged 15 to 30, in the areas of social support services, transport, information technology, research and administration, and other placements that support community needs.
CSJ is part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which helps youth, particularly those facing barriers, to gain the skills and experience they need to successfully transition to the labour market. The program strives to give young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 paid work opportunities so that they can grow professionally and improve their skills in the not-for-profit, small business and public sectors. It also supports the delivery of key community services to Canadians.
For media enquiries, please contact:
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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