Growing the Canadian workforce and supporting green jobs for youth

Media/Press Release
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Growing the Canadian workforce and supporting green jobs for youth

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has announced the funding approval of 96 projects that will benefit over 3,400 youth, people with disabilities and newcomers looking for employment. Vancouver's Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society was awarded $386,758 for their Skills Link program.
 
The majority of projects focus on helping youth and people with disabilities get job skills training and work experience. Two additional projects aim to promote green jobs, as part of the Government’s focus on an innovative and clean economy.
 
Recent data points to the need to assist new graduates in sciences transition into a career; as of 2011, the unemployment rate of Ontario science graduates aged 20 to 24 was 18.9 percent. To help reduce those numbers, BioTalent Canada, through funding from the Government’s Career Focus program, will help Canadian companies specializing in environmental issues recruit and hire young, educated individuals for their teams. Up to 100 recent graduates can receive valuable work experience through this project.
 
Through funding from the Government’s Skills Link program, Niagara Peninsula Homes’ Team ENERGI (Enterprise Niagara for Employment Resources and Green Initiatives) will help up to 24 youth overcome barriers to employment by providing them with work experience at a number of eco-energy conservation and general construction jobs related to retro-fitting buildings. Participants will build skills in construction trades such as plumbing, electrical and carpentry, while gaining experience working with skilled construction contractors and licensed tradespeople.
 
More than $35 million in funding was provided for all 96 projects through the following programs: Skills Link, Career Focus, Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, Sectoral Initiatives, Foreign Credential Recognition and Summer Work Experience.
 
Quotes
 
“It’s so encouraging to see the quality of the ambitious and creative projects so many Canadian communities are undertaking. It’s especially promising to see so many young people joining the green movement in Canada. Canadians who face barriers to employment are looking for opportunities—and these projects give them hope for a brighter future, while helping to strengthen and grow our middle class across the country.”
– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
 
“Sustainable development is the cornerstone of Canada’s bio-economy. Since 2005, BioTalent Canada has placed more than 480 new graduates in jobs through wage-subsidy programs, and 90 percent remain employed at the end of the subsidy. This success has even been noticed internationally. BioTalent Canada looks forward to continuing to partner with the Government of Canada to have a positive impact on Canada’s young workforce through the Green Jobs initiative.”
– Rob Henderson, President and CEO, BioTalent Canada 
 
“We are very grateful to the federal government for funding our Team ENERGI Program. This project will allow us to help young people renew their hope and develop marketable job skills, self-confidence and self-worth. They will also learn what it is like to work in a collaborative structured environment and meet employers’ expectations. All the while, they are learning these skills and helping to preserve the existing housing stock of non-profit and co-op providers.”
– Bob McCallion, President, Niagara Peninsula Homes
 
Quick Facts
  • More than 2,500 youth between the ages of 15 and 30 will benefit from programs and services that will improve their job skills, hands‑on experience and career development.
  • About 900 people with disabilities will prepare for the workforce or self-employment through job skills workshops and hands-on experience.
  • Syrian refugees, and others with foreign credentials, will benefit from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program that will help them get their qualifications recognized in the Canadian labour market.
  • Budget 2016 includes $165 million in new funding for the Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills, abilities and experience they need to find and maintain employment.
 
Backgrounder
 
Youth
 
Each year, the Government invests more than $330 million through its Youth Employment Strategy to help young Canadians gain the skills and work experience they need to start their careers and contribute to the economy.
 
Budget 2016 builds on the $330 million and has announced an additional $165.4 million in 2016–17 to:
 
create new green jobs for youth;
increase the number of youth who access the Skills Link program, which helps young Canadians overcome barriers to employment; and
support employment opportunities in the heritage sector under the Young Canada Works program.
Since 2005, over 772,000 young Canadians have received the skills upgrade they need to enter the labour market through the Government of Canada’s youth employment programs. These programs help youth between the ages of 15 and 30 get the information and gain the skills and work experience they need to succeed in the workplace.
 
Earlier this year, the Government announced an additional $339 million for the Canada Summer Jobs program, to be delivered over three years, starting in 2016–17.
 
Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment—including single parents, youth with disabilities, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas—to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or return to school. Skills Link has helped over 230,000 youth since 2005.
 
Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates transition to the labour market through paid internships and helps provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies. The Career Focus initiative has helped over 37,000 youth acquire skills needed to join the job market since 2005.
 
Summer Work Experience provides wage subsidies to employers to create summer employment for secondary and post-secondary students. The Summer Work Experience program includes Canada Summer Jobs. The Canada Summer Jobs program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Since 2005, Summer Work Experience has helped over 505,000 students.
 
People with disabilities
 
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed, to help them participate fully in the workforce and increase their independence. The program emphasizes work experience for youth with disabilities through the involvement of both employers and community organizations in the design and delivery of projects and hands-on work experience. The Government provides $40 million annually to the Opportunities Fund and has helped 48,000 people with disabilities across Canada since 2005.
 
Sectoral Initiatives Program
 
The Sectoral Initiatives Program supports projects that address current and future skills shortages by supporting the development, distribution and use of labour market information, national occupational standards, and skills certification and accreditation programs. 
 
Foreign Credential Recognition Program
 
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained individuals into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders—including regulatory bodies, post‑secondary institutions and employers—to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.