Ottawa, Ontario—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.