Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy employs youth in the conservation of nature and forests

News release

Parks Canada partnership with Project Learning Tree Canada employing youth across Canada to help protect more nature

April 16, 2021                  Vancouver, British Columbia               Parks Canada Agency

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have rediscovered the many benefits connecting with nature has for our health and well-being. The Government of Canada is continuing to deliver on its commitment to protect more nature across the country to fight climate change, protect our iconic biodiversity and ensure Canadians can spend time outdoors in their communities.  

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced $12.8 million in funding for Project Learning Tree Canada to employ youth in nature conservation.

With this funding, which is provided through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, Project Learning Tree Canada will employ more than 1,700 youth in nature conservation, such as forest restoration and tree planting. Through this partnership, opportunities for youth will be offered in a wide variety of settings, thanks to a broad network of forest and conservation partners in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative network, the Canadian Parks Council network, as well as, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Ducks Unlimited Canada.

This investment will help young people begin rewarding careers in the conservation and forest sector, while preserving Canada’s natural heritage, combatting climate change, and helping to restore healthy, resilient ecosystems.

Youth employment opportunities are now open. Youth and employers interested in this program can apply at Project Learning Tree Canada.



“Protecting more nature and equipping youth with the skills and experience they need to succeed are top priorities for the Government of Canada. Today, I am pleased to see the merging of those priorities by employing youth in nature conservation. This project will provide 1,700 young Canadians with good employment opportunities, using nature-based solutions to fight climate change”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“By taking bold action and thinking outside of the box, our government is setting up young Canadians for success and ensuring an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our collaboration with Project Learning Tree is a great example of how government can work with community organizations to break down barriers to employment and create long-lasting change in the lives of young people. When we make skills-building and job opportunities available to young Canadians, we all succeed.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion,

“Young people are shaping Canada’s future with their enthusiasm and hard work. They’re looking for green jobs and internships, so we’re providing them with opportunities to build a sustainable future.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“It's vital that we help all young people find success in discovering and navigating green career pathways. This is something we value deeply at PLT Canada, and we’re proud of the positive impact we continue to have through meaningful gender-balanced work experiences and our positive engagement of Indigenous, newcomer and all youth that may need support accessing jobs across the country. We’re looking forward to working with Parks Canada in providing access to valuable opportunities for all youth, including those facing barriers, in the forest and conservation sector.”

Kathy Abusow, President and CEO, Project Learning Tree Canada

Quick facts

  • Hiring for these positions opens today and runs until March 31, 2022. To stay updated, please visit the Parks Canada and Project Learning Tree Canada websites. 

  • Other employment opportunities may include jobs that support healthy and sustainably managed forests, parks and protected places, urban parks and forests, tree planting, conservation, natural resource management, environmental education, Indigenous relationship building, carbon sequestration, species maintenance and recovery, water quality and quantity, and many other nature-based solutions.

  • The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) provides flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians gain the skills and paid work experience they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. 

  • The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy has been redesigned to address a wide range of labour market challenges, specific to all youth, but especially those facing barriers to employment.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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