Restaurant industry proposes new recipe for youth employment

OTTAWA, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Where was your first job? Ask a group of Canadians and the most likely answer is:  "in the restaurant industry."  Canada's restaurants employ close to half a million young people under the age of 25, and are the number one source of first-time job experience.

Restaurants Canada, the industry group representing foodservice operators, appears before the Finance Committee in Ottawa today at 3:30 p.m. in La Promenade Building Rm 268, on the issue of youth employment.

"No other industry helps more students pay their way through school, or works with more young people to develop valuable jobs skills," says Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Restaurants Canada. "Restaurants provide that all-important first step on the career ladder for thousands of Canadians."

Restaurants Canada members cite high payroll taxes as an obstacle to job creation because they are a tax on jobs. They are also the most regressive tax, placing a higher burden on entry-level employees. 

Reynolds will outline two proposals to increase job opportunities for young people:

  1. A youth "new hires" program to provide a payroll tax incentive for employers who add new jobs for young people.
  2. Changes to the employment insurance program to reduce the tax burden on entry-level employees and their employers, similar to the "year's basic exemption" that already exists in the Canada Pension Plan.

"These initiatives would expand the training ground for young people, and help them develop real-world skills in teamwork, problem-solving, customer service and communication that will help them no matter what career they pursue," says Reynolds.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper. 

Canada's restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar at 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@restaurantscanada.org