Harper Government creates 36,000 new jobs for Canadian Youth

OTTAWA, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Students across Canada will gain valuable work experience this summer, as a result of 36 000 jobs created through the Harper Government's Canada Summer Jobs initiative. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development made the announcement today at the office of the Canadian Red Cross Society.

"Creating summer jobs for students benefits not only youth and employers, but local economies across the country as well," said Minister Finley. "Canada Summer Jobs is yet another excellent example of how our Government is creating jobs and economic growth for Canadians."

Minister Finley highlighted the student jobs created at the Canadian Red Cross Society as a concrete example of the type of tangible work experience youth gain through this initiative. The Society will employ hundreds of students in a wide range of jobs. In Ottawa, for example, two students will be hired for the positions of Summer Associate for the Disaster Management program and Special Event Associate.

"The Canadian Red Cross is a long-standing beneficiary of Canada Summer Jobs," said Conrad Sauvé, secretary general and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. "This initiative has allowed us to hire hundreds of students from coast-to-coast, providing them with a practical learning experience and the opportunity to contribute to Canadian Red Cross activities ranging from disaster response to community health."

Canada Summer Jobs helps students gain the skills and experience they need to be successful now and in the future, while earning money for the upcoming school year. The initiative is an important part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES), which also includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs. With an annual budget of more than $300 million, YES helps youth obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed.

Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2013 proposes an additional investment of $70 million over three years in YES to support 5 000 more paid internships. This is further to the extra $50 million that was invested through EAP 2012 to enhance YES with a new initiative that connects young Canadians with jobs that are in high demand and helps them develop tangible skills and gain work experience. 

Youth employment programs are part of the Government of Canada's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit actionplan.gc.ca.

The Government of Canada is helping youth plan their careers, learn new skills and find jobs through enhanced online services available at youth.gc.ca.  To learn more about the Youth Employment Strategy, watch this video.


Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need. These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups such as people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, newcomers and youth.

The Youth Employment Strategy is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

In 2011, the Harper Government permanently increased the annual budget for Canada Summer Jobs by $10 million, bringing the total program budget to $107.5 million. The additional $10 million is allocated using the most recent labour market data available on summer students to ensure that the new funding is provided to areas where it is most needed.

The application date for Canada Summer Jobs 2014 will be different than in past years. Applications must be submitted between December 2, 2013, and January 10, 2014. Applications will be available for employers online and at Service Canada Centres beginning December 2, 2013.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, including youth who are single parents, youth with disabilities and youth in rural and remote areas, to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school.

Career Focus provides funding to employers to hire young post-secondary graduates to give them career-related work experience and help them acquire skills to transition into the job market.

To learn more about Canada's Youth Employment Strategy and other youth employment initiatives, please visit youth.gc.ca.

Speaking Points
the Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

to celebrate the creation of up to 36 000 students
jobs through the 2013 Canada Summer Jobs
(CSJ) initiative

May 9, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario

Check against delivery

Hi folks!

I'm happy to be here with you today and thank you, Conrad, for that kind introduction.

You know, success in life is all about making the right choices.

And when you lead a country, making choices is a non-stop exercise.

And if there was only one question leaders could ask themselves when making these choices, it would be this one: Are Canadians getting the most value for their hard-earned tax dollars? 

In other words, is this investment getting the expected return and results?

When it comes to the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which we're to talk about today, the answer is definitely "Yes."

Thirty-six thousand times "Yes", because, thanks to this program, 36,000 young people across this country will be working this summer.

They'll be working in a wide range of sectors including recreational leadership, tourism, sales, agriculture, maintenance and business, to name only a few.

And of course, let's not forget the not-for-profit sector, like our host, the Canadian Red Cross Society.

This is worth celebrating today!

There's no question: the Canada Summer Jobs initiative is a win-win-win for everybody.

For the young people involved, it's certainly a way to earn money, but it's also a way to gain experience and self-confidence, and to better understand the needs of employers and the demands of the world of work.

And that will be very valuable to them, especially when the time comes for them to make the transition from school to the labour market.

Our labour market right now is facing a mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills workers have. Summer jobs give students a golden opportunity to learn first-hand what is expected.

Given a choice between a young person with practical experience in the world of work and another young person who doesn't have any, who do you think the employer will be more inclined to hire?

And of course, consider that many students get summer jobs related to their field of study.

Having real-life experience to put on your résumé adds weight to your application, and it can tilt the balance in your favour.

The summer jobs provided by the Canadian Red Cross Society are wonderful examples of the valuable experience to be gained by students.

The two students that will be hired here at the Red Cross in Ottawa will deliver presentations, recruit volunteers, manage a database, keep books, and more.

Each one of these activities is a chance to develop skills that future employers will appreciate.

The hundreds of students working for Red Cross chapters in other parts of Canada will gain equally valuable experience.

I am sure that the Red Cross appreciates the significant benefits of having students in the workplace.

Students can help to address staffing demands in many industries and institutions.

They are highly motivated, enthusiastic and eager to learn.

And it's not just their employers who benefit from the extra labour; our society as a whole gets a fresh infusion of talent.

An infusion we greatly need, if you consider the shortages of qualified workers we are seeing in many regions and sectors—shortages that will only increase with the aging of our population and more people retiring.

There's a paradoxical situation now in the labour market.

On the one hand, businesses say they're having trouble finding qualified workers, and there are thousands of unfilled jobs.

On the other hand, the general unemployment rate continues to be high, and it's twice as high for young people.

There are too many jobs going unfilled in Canada because businesses cannot find workers with the right skills.

And even though Canadian workers are among the best-educated and best trained in the world, Canada is still facing a skilled-labour shortage.

This is a situation we are very concerned about.

And our government is taking action.

The national Youth Employment Strategy that we have developed is one of our responses to this challenge.

With an annual budget of more than $300 million, this Strategy helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed.

The Canada Summer Jobs initiative is part of our Youth Employment Strategy.

It's a good example of how successful that Strategy is.

So successful, that our government decided last year to invest an extra $50 million to connect young Canadians with the jobs that are in high demand.

But we still have more work to do.

Economic Action Plan 2013 also proposes investing $70 million over three years to support 5,000 more paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates, so that they can make maximum use of their education and talents.

We need more win-win-win solutions like the Canada Summer Jobs initiative to close the skills gap in Canada.

Creating summer jobs for students benefits youth, employers and local economies across the country.

It is an investment.

An investment in Canada's economic growth and long-term prosperity.

An investment in our young people and an investment in Canada's future.

With an investment this important, we want to be sure that as many employers as possible can participate in the Canada Summer Jobs program.

For this reason, the application date for Canada Summer Jobs 2014 will be earlier than in past years—December 2, 2013 to January 10, 2014. This will allow employers more time to complete their hiring processes, and will give students more notice when they get their summer jobs.

I wish all the best to those 36,000 young students who will be at work this summer.

And I thank all their employers for giving them such a great opportunity to learn and grow.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

 Jan O'Driscoll
 Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley    819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
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