Government of Canada marks World Youth Skills Day with major investments in skills and innovation projects

Young people and students have a pivotal role to play in Canada’s economic recovery and future growth. In the run-up to World Youth Skills Day on July 15, the Government of Canada is highlighting the importance of equipping young people with the skills they need and remains committed to helping them gain relevant experience for an evolving job market.

Today, Salma Zahid, Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre, on behalf of Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced significant investments to help provide youth and post-secondary students with innovative skills training and learning opportunities over this summer and in upcoming years.

In the spirit of World Youth Skills Day and this year’s theme, “Transforming Youth Skills for the Future,” the Minister highlighted investments that are helping to provide innovative skills training and learning opportunities to tens of thousands of youth and students.

MP Zahid made the announcement at the CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, where she highlighted $1.7 million in funding for their project called From Neet to EET 2.0. Funded through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program, this project will help Black youth join the workforce by offering skills training, job placements and career coaching with a focus on digital technology. More than 165 job placements for youth will be created through this program.

MP Zahid was also joined by representatives from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada, a long-standing Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiative organization that is paving the way by providing innovative work opportunities.

The investments highlighted today include:

· Nearly $150 million through the Student Work Placement Program’s I-WIL Initiative, which will help to create more than 55,000 valuable and relevant short-term, technology-assisted work experience opportunities for post-secondary students across Canada.

· Over $11.6 million through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy for innovative job training programs that will help support and serve up to 1,000 youth. These opportunities are allowing young people to gain experience and skills for in-demand jobs in the fields of virtual reality and information technology.

Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s ongoing actions to help young Canadians and students adapt to the demands of an evolving workforce and move forward from the impacts of the pandemic.