Giving youth the experience needed to launch meaningful careers

Our country’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians launching meaningful careers. By helping them gain the skills and experience they need for a fair chance at success, we are investing in our greatest asset—our people.

The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the federal government’s commitment to help young adults and teenagers get a strong start to their careers. Improvements to YES since 2015 have resulted in over 220,000 youth finding good‑quality jobs or youth improving their skills.

YES is delivered by 11 federal departments and agencies and helps young people between the ages of 15 and 30 to get the information and develop the job skills, abilities and experience they need to get good-quality jobs. YES has three complementary program streams: Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience.

  • Skills Link helps young people who face more barriers to employment than others—including single parents, youth with disabilities, Indigenous youth, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas—to develop the skills they need to get a job and/or go back to school.
  • Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates find jobs through paid internships and helps to provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies.
  • Summer Work Experience provides wage subsidies to employers to create summer employment for secondary and post-secondary students. The Summer Work Experience stream includes Employment and Social Development Canada’s Canada Summer Jobs program.

MP Mary Ng was at the Aaniin Library recently to announce the Canada Summer Jobs funding. Budget 2019 proposes to invest $49.5 million to support the ongoing modernization of YES.

Ben Hendriks, Markham Public Library Board Chair, is ecstatic with the program. “This summer Markham Public Library will offer close to 900 programs for children and teens. We could not accomplish this without Canada Summer Jobs. Across our branches 27 local youth have been funded through Canada Summer Jobs to share their knowledge and expertise so that children visiting our libraries are engaged in learning opportunities that help them explore new interests and passions,” said Hendriks.

CAROBOT Learning and Research Organization (CLRO) is another Canada Summer Jobs program funding recipient. “With the funding, we can expand our STEM initiatives while providing young Canadians career related experience,” said Jacky Lau, president of CLRO. Lau and four other directors founded the organization in 2016 because they saw the lack of support of youth robotics in the Markham community. Lau says that’s why they decided to teach courses to encourage youth and pass on knowledge about robotics. Along the way, they developed their own courses and intuitive robotics education tools. They want to continue expanding into other communities and spread the robotics revolution.

For more information and a list of participating organizations, visit Canada Summer Jobs.


Photo (l-r): Students Purnoor Ghuman and Alden Ng will be working for Jacky Lau (right) at Carabot this summer thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs funding. MP Mary Ng at the Aaniin Library during her recent funding announcement.

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