Archived - Youth Employment
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Governments have a responsibility to help young Canadians find the tools they will need to succeed. To do its share, the federal government has established programs and measures that focus on developing the knowledge, skills and work experience today's young people must have to become full participants in a changing knowledge-based economy.
The Youth Employment Strategy, announced in 1997, helps young Canadians find the critical first job that bridges the gap between school and work.
- Youth Service Canada helps unemployed young Canadians get work experience in community projects. The program is a success: one year after completing their work experience, about 85 per cent of participants find work -- mostly permanent, full-time jobs -- or return to school.
- Youth Internship Canada helps young Canadians get that first ‘foot in the door' with employers.
- Summer career placements give other young Canadians work experience with governments and private companies.
SchoolNet and the Community Access Program have also done a lot for young Canadians by linking Canadian schools, First Nations schools, public libraries and rural communities to the Internet -- a vital tool in helping more people access knowledge and learn about on-line resources and applications.
Proposed Budget Measures
The 1998 budget builds on these foundations by proposing new measures to encourage youth employment.
Supporting Youth Employment
This budget supports youth employment by more than doubling funding for youth at risk, principally those who have not completed high school. The government will invest an additional $50 million in 1998-99, $75 million in 1999-2000 and $100 million a year thereafter. Through partnerships with employers' organizations and non-profit groups, funds will be used for on-the-job training, career counselling, mentoring and literacy upgrading, where required.
Encouraging Employers to Hire Young Canadians
Youth unemployment concerns all Canadians. And while governments have a role to play in helping to tackle this serious issue, they cannot solve the youth unemployment problem alone. Many private sector employers are already responding to this challenge by providing opportunities for young Canadians.
To provide further encouragement, the 1998 budget proposes to provide employers with an employment insurance (EI) premium holiday for additional Canadians age 18 to 24 hired in 1999 and 2000. This measure will reduce payroll costs for employers by about $100 million a year in 1999 and 2000.
Making Knowledge and Skills More Affordable and Accessible
The 1998 budget also builds on actions taken in previous budgets to provide Canadians with greater opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for jobs -- both now and in the future.
For Canadians of all ages, the Canadian Opportunities Strategy will make knowledge and skills more affordable and accessible by:
- helping graduates manage their student debt loads by providing tax relief for interest payments on student loans, and improving the Canada Student Loans Program to help individuals facing financial dificulties;
- helping Canadians upgrade their skills through their working lives by allowing tax-free withdrawls from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) for lifelong learning;
- providing over 100,000 Canadians with Canada Millennium Scholarships averaging $3,000 a year;
- providing Canada Study Grants of up to $3,000 a year for needy students with children or other dependants;
- introducing Canada Education Savings Grants to help families save for their children's education by supplementing new contributions made to registered education savings plans (RESPs);
- supporting advanced research and graduate students through increased funding to the three granting councils;
- providing education credits and child care expense deductions for part-time students; and
- bringing the benefits of the information age into more classrooms and communities across Canada.
By increasing access to learning, the federal government is building a stronger economy and a more secure society for the 21st century.
Expanding SchoolNet and the Community Access Program
The government will invest $205 million over three years to ensure that more Canadians continue to benefit from the learning opportunities made possible by today's computer--driven information technology.
- SchoolNet will continue to help Canadian children develop computer literacy by refurbishing donated computers for schools, linking First Nations classrooms and communities to the Internet, and supporting the development of multimedia learning-ware - software that give students access to an expanding universe of learning.
- The Community Access Program will create an additional 5,000 Internet access sites in urban neighbourhoods across Canada. This -- along with the 5,000 rural access sites currently being established -- will bring the number of community access sites across Canada to 10,000.