Budget 1998 - Information
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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.

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:

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.