Students in the Red Deer region can plan to see more summer job opportunities after Ottawa announced additional funding for the federal Youth Employment Strategy program.
The Economic Action Plan 2012 will see $50 million go towards the Youth Employment Strategy over the next two years, announced Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen on behalf of Diane Finley, federal minister for Human Resources and Skills Development.
Canada Summer Jobs is a part of YES and provides funding to non-profits, public-sector employers and small business to create summer job opportunities for students age 15 to 30 who intend to return to school full time in September.
“Through Canada Summer Jobs, we are helping employers in Central Alberta create 77 summer job opportunities for students,” said Dreeshen.
The YES program receives annual funding of $300 million and works to help youth, particularly those facing employment barriers, obtain career information, develop work skills and find jobs.
The funding will also focus on matching young Canadians with jobs in high demand.
With the doors to the Service Canada Centre for Youth (formerly known as Hire-a-Student) closed, enhancing YES is a priority for the government. It’s also key for long-term economic prosperity, said Dreeshen.
In Central Alberta, the jobs are primarily in the non-profit organization sector, noted Dreeshen, in workplaces such as museums, health services and libraries.
“They’re good quality, well-defined jobs which are great start-up opportunities as well,” he said.
“A lot of the students will come back to these employers.”
Eric Peppinck, president of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College, said he hopes that more money going into YES will mean students will be receiving more valuable work experience.
“The problem isn’t always in finding a job, but in finding a job that offers quality work with a decent wage that will work with students,” he said.
Hopefully, this additional funding means employers won’t just be bringing in students to do “filing work,” which has been an issue in the past, said Peppinck.
For more information about Canada Summer Jobs and other government employment initiatives, visit www.youth.gc.ca.