As part of our government’s plan to strengthen the middle class and those working hard to join it, we have made significant new investments to create jobs and opportunities for young Canadians.
In 2016-2017, we provided an additional $165.4 million for the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES), which helps young people access opportunities for work and training so they can get a strong start and make a successful transition into the workforce. We are continuing to invest in the Youth Employment Strategy – with a further $395.5 million over the next 3 years – because we understand that young people are the future of our economy, and supporting youth employment is critical to a strong and prosperous middle class.
As a result of these investments, more young Canadians have been able to access the Skills Link program, which helps vulnerable youth overcome barriers to employment, develop skills, and gain the work experience they need to find jobs and prepare for the workforce of tomorrow.
One of the federal government’s outstanding local partners in providing these services is the St. Stephen’s Community House Employment & Training Centre – located right here in Toronto-St. Paul’s! This past summer, St. Stephen’s received $1,492,815 in funding through Skills Link for their Opportunity Knocks project – a 16-week paid training program for young people who are not in school and out of work.
On Monday, November 13th, I had the privilege of visiting the Centre, where I saw firsthand how federal support for the Opportunity Knocks program has benefited Toronto youth. Participants spend four weeks learning a variety of employability skills – including communication, team-building, problem solving, and time management – before spending twelve weeks gaining practical experience in the workplace. 180 young people will have the opportunity to take part in this amazing program as St. Stephen’s Community House works to ensure that even those who face the most challenging of barriers are able to find meaningful employment.
We have come a long way over the past two years. Our government has delivered real progress for the middle class, and investing in youth employment programs is just one example. We know there is still much more work to do, and we remain focused on delivering results that will benefit most Canadians.
Thank you to incredible team at St. Stephen’s Community House for an inspiring visit this morning!
Your efforts are truly making a positive difference in the lives of Torontonians, and I am proud that the Government of Canada has been able to help support your work!