2018 federal budget gives young Canadians opportunities for hands-on learning
(March 2, 2018) BGC Canada is pleased to see this year’s federal budget invest $448.5 million over five years in the Youth Employment Strategy and direct that money to maintaining the number of job placements funded under the Canada Summer Jobs program—70,000 a year for the next two years.
Each summer, the Canada Summer Jobs program provides grants so organizations can offer opportunities for youth to gain work experience, develop employability skills, and save up for postsecondary education. The program is invaluable to BGC, who offer supportive work environments where youth can meaningfully contribute to their community.
“Last year, local Boys and Girls Clubs hired 660 university and high school students in communities that would otherwise have had few opportunities for meaningful employment,” said Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada. “We also know more can be done. We’d love to see the government extend the program to youth who are not full-time students.”
Newcomer and low-income youth are often disqualified from the Canada Summer Jobs program because they are studying part time in order to fulfill other responsibilities—a situation that affects young women especially.
As Canada’s largest youth-serving organization, BGC Canada has long recommended expansions to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will remove barriers preventing vulnerable young people from joining the workforce. In impoverished communities, a summer job can mean helping family or having a safe place to be during the day. Perhaps most importantly, a job can be a source of personal pride and have a positive impact on a young person’s mental health.
BGC Canada is anticipating government reforms to the Youth Employment Strategy so that the needs of Canada’s more vulnerable youth are addressed.