Growing the Canadian workforce and supporting green jobs for youth

GATINEAU, QC, September 29, 2016

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.

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.

“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.