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Workforce empowerment: New job opportunities for Canadian newcomers and youth

As part of Canada’s commitment to strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it, MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the funding approval of 96 projects that will benefit over 3,400 youth, people with disabilities and newcomers looking for employment.

The majority of projects focus on helping people 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 per cent.

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 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 retrofitting 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.

“It’s so encouraging to see the quality of the ambitious and creative projects so many Canadian communities are undertaking,” said Mihychuk. “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.”

“Sustainable development is the cornerstone of Canada’s bio-economy,” said Rob Henderson, President and CEO, BioTalent Canada. “Since 2005, BioTalent Canada has placed more than 480 new graduates in jobs through wage-subsidy programs, and 90 per cent 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.”

“We are very grateful to the federal government for funding our Team ENERGI Program,” said Bob McCallion, President, Niagara Peninsula Homes. “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.”

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.

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.

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.

Posted: Nov 1, 2016

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