Yukon, Manitoba & Nova Scotia consolidate their efforts together with Quebec to stem youth exodus in their rural areas

    QUEBEC, Nov. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Place aux jeunes du Québec (PAJQ), an
organization active in stemming youth exodus and attracting graduates in rural
areas for 18 years, has been the model used in developing Place aux Jeunes
(PAJ) and Make Way for YOUth (MWY) in Yukon, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. Among
their strategies, these organizations provide individual remote support and
exploratory visits in the field to potential migrants and job seekers.
    Also, websites based on the Quebec site www.accrodesregions.qc.ca have
been developed for the territory and two provinces. These sites publicize
regional job openings and events. www.placeauxjeunes.ca is the Canada-wide web
page giving access to all these portals. "These sites are an opportunity for
us to survey native youths before they leave for an urban centre," explains
Gino Reeves, General Manager of PAJQ. "These youths periodically receive an
e-newsletter throughout their migration. This newsletter keeps them in touch
with their home region and helps develop a sense of belonging. This is a
crucial step for young migrants to realize the dynamism found in rural areas,
and consider the possibility of either coming back or moving to the area for
the first time." Website visitors can perform remote job searches, and
employers can post their job openings for free.
    Since April 2005, Place aux jeunes du Québec (PAJQ) is proving its worth
as a model for rural development and community capacity building elsewhere in
Canada, with the help of a large three-year financial contribution from the
Rural Secretariat of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
(AAFC), in partnership with Canadian Heritage. Communities from Manitoba,
Yukon, and Nova Scotia have also decided to tackle the youth exodus issue, and
have shown significant interested in adapting Place aux jeunes' model. After
two years, results are definitely convincing.
    In Yukon, geographic remoteness hinders the immigration of youths toward
the territory. However, young Canadian are obviously interested in exploring
and eventually building a career in Yukon. In fact, the number of people
contacting the PAJ migration officer to request remote support has gone from
75 in May 2006 to 550 in September 2007. Since July 2006, PAJ has helped a
large number of youths making their Yukoner dream a reality through training
positions, summer jobs and permanent jobs, for an increase of 3 % of Yukon's
francophone community.
    In Manitoba, bilingual rural communities recently measured an average
exodus ratio of 19.6% among youths of age group 15-24. Since program launch,
Place aux jeunes has offered 5 exploratory weekends, during which around
20 youths got the opportunity to rediscover these rural areas and experience
their social and economical vitality. Results are already satisfactory: about
10 young people have settled in these areas, and the initiative benefits from
a lot of support from community partners.
    Young Nova Scotians not only move out of rural areas, they even leave the
province as they look for different opportunities elsewhere in Canada, mostly
in Alberta. That is why the federal and provincial governments and local
partners have found in Place aux jeunes one of the antidotes that could help
inform young people about the business and employment opportunities available
in the rural areas of Nova Scotia - and the undisputable quality of life, a
benefit that outweighs Western Canada's promises of high-paying jobs. This
youth, now back in his parents' rural area, expresses how pleased he was with
the experience: "Make Way for YOUth has brought me back to Nova Scotia for
    Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDEE) Yukon,
overseen by the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY), is developing Place aux
jeunes for the Francophone community of Yukon. In Manitoba, the Economic
Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities is promoting the
project in two communities. Finally, in Nova Scotia, the Greater Halifax
Partnership is the organization in charge of implementing Make Way for YOUth
(PAJ's English brand name), offering services to an English-speaking clientele
in two areas.

    In Quebec, PAJQ has established a strong presence in 15 administrative
regions. Its network of 70 migration officers spread across 70 regional county
municipalities encourages the social and political engagement of youths,
facilitates their occupational and social integration, stimulates the creation
of regional businesses, and informs youths, their entourage and local
stakeholders about the impacts of youth migration. In 2006-2007, PAJQ has
helped 1,130 young graduates settling in rural areas and welcomed 960 youths
to its exploratory visits. PAJQ's main financial partners are the Secrétariat
à la jeunesse and the Desjardins Group.

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Parrod, Coordinator, Non-Quebec
Operations, Place aux jeunes du Québec, (418) 523-1117, 1-888-966-6725,
developpement@placeauxjeunes.qc.ca; www.placeauxjeunes.ca; Other sites: PAJ
Quebec, www.placeauxjeunes.qc.ca, www.accrodesregions.qc.ca; PAJ Yukon,
www.pajyukon.ca; PAJ Manitoba, www.placeauxjeunes.mb.ca; Make Way for YOUth
Nova Scotia, www.makewayforyouth.ns.ca

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Place aux jeunes en région

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