OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2012) - The Harper Government today unveiled a new approach to help approximately 3000 young Canadians find jobs in high demand sectors of the economy. The initiative will help address labour shortages by equipping youth with skills and experience, and creating opportunities for them to start careers in high demand fields. The announcement was made by the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
"Addressing existing and future skills shortages is critical to ensuring Canada's continued economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Aglukkaq. "That is why our government is taking action now, through Economic Action Plan 2012, to better equip our young people as they make career decisions by introducing a new initiative that will connect young Canadians with jobs that are in high demand and help them develop the skills and gain the experience they need."
Under the existing national Youth Employment Strategy, this new $50 million initiative will be dedicated to projects that will connect a total of approximately 3000 young Canadians with private sector jobs in fields that are in high demand, such as the skilled trades and tourism. The projects will help employers fill labour shortages while providing youth with the all-important, on-the-job experience they need to transition into a career.
Minister Aglukkaq's announcement is one of a series taking place across the country today. Minister Finley kicked off the nation-wide events by launching two Calls for Proposals to deliver the funding-one for Career Focus and one for Skills Link-both of which are existing programs under the Youth Employment Strategy.
"Youth employment programs are part of the Harper Government's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce," said Minister Aglukkaq. "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."
The Calls will open on September 5 and close on October 19. Organizations across Canada are invited to apply. Organizations, including but not limited to, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, crown corporations, educational institutions, Aboriginal organizations, and provincial, territorial and municipal governments can apply for funding. Information is available at servicecanada.gc.ca.
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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
The Youth Employment Strategy is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada committed to investing $50 million over two years in the Youth Employment Strategy to introduce a new initiative that will help young Canadians develop the skills and obtain the experience they need to get jobs in high demand sectors of the Canadian economy.
Career Focus provides funding to employers to hire young post-secondary graduates to give them career-related work experience and help them acquire skills to transition into the job market. Under the Career Focus Call for Proposals, organizations can receive up to $1.5 million per year to connect recent post-secondary graduates with private sector work experience in high demand occupations. Projects must be delivered in a minimum of three different provinces or territories.
Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, including youth who are single parents, youth with disabilities and youth in rural and remote areas, to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school. Under the Skills Link Call for Proposals, organizations can receive up to $2 million per year to provide youth with skills development and private sector work experience in high demand occupations.
To learn more about Canada's Youth Employment Strategy and other youth employment initiatives, please visit Youth.gc.ca.