Good employment news for Canada's youth
Credit: Stephanie Lai
Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed students and staff at Fanshawe College on May 2 about internships.
Minister for Employment and Social Development for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny, opened up the floor by stating challenges Canada's youth face before permanently entering the workforce.
“One of the challenges we need is to ensure that young people have relevant work experience. Co-op placements and apprenticeships are a great way of doing that, so too are paid internships,” he said.
“Thankfully we have a Prime Minister completely focused on the economy, completely focused on job creation and especially creating bright opportunities for young Canadians.
The Prime Minister explained how the government will help.
“Substantial funds contained in the Economic Action Plan 2014 will be providing cost-sharing support for up to 3,000 full-time internships in high demand fields from coast to coast to coast,” said Harper. “These funds will be administered to the international research council and youth employment strategy.”
Harper echoed Kenny's statement on the demand on students to gain experience before entering the work force in what he called the “classic Catch-22 situation.”
“To get the job, they need experience, but they cannot get the experience because they cannot get the job,” he said. “Obviously that is not the situation that isn't good for anybody.”
In a release sent out by the Prime Minister's office, the terms are explained further.
Students in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, math and skilled trades will be the benefactors.
“The internships, which will last between six and 12 months, will take place over the next two years and give participants the opportunity to gain the real-life work experience and skills necessary to succeed in the workplace now and in the future.”
Harper said the current situation is not helpful to students and employers.
“It frustrates ambitious young people and it creates real problems for employers; particularly those who have a high demand for skills and low supply,” said Harper. “These funds will be administered to the International Research Council and Youth Employment Strategy.”
“Young Canadians aspiring to become engineers ... or to practice in the health sciences will be able to get the hands-on experience they need.”
Harper's plan to give young Canadians access to training will be made possible.
“There are too many people without jobs and too many jobs or potential jobs without people,” he said. “The Canada Job Grant will help ensure more Canadians have access to the training needed in demand to fill jobs.”