Governments of Canada and Quebec taking steps to help next generation of middle-class workers

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

August 22, 2019 Québec, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

By helping young Canadians gain the skills and experience they need for a fair chance at success, the government is helping ensure Canada’s continued prosperity by investing in our greatest asset-our people.

Today, the Governments of Canada and Quebec announced that they have signed an Agreement to support the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).

Through this agreement, Quebec will receive approximately $135 million over five years, starting in April 2020, to provide skills training and employment services to youth in the province and break down barriers to help youth gain the experience and skills they need to pursue the careers of their choice. The Government of Quebec estimates that this funding will support approximately 20,000 youth. The announcement was made by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Québec, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with Mr. Jean Boulet, Quebec’s Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region.

The funds allocated through the Canada-Quebec Contribution Agreement to Support the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy will be used for skills training and employment measures and services that will meet the objectives of the modernized YESS. The Government of Quebec will be responsible for designing and delivering services that meet the specific employment and training needs of their youth population.

The governments of Canada and Quebec will report on the impacts of youth skills and employment training programs, including how programs are supporting youth to develop skills and helping them to secure jobs.

Quotes

“Young Canadians are talented, ambitious and hard-working, but getting a strong start in the workforce can be challenging for many. The new Youth Employment and Skills Strategy makes it easier for young people to transition from the classroom to the workforce, including those facing barriers. Through investments like today’s agreement with Quebec, we are giving young people a fair chance at success, growing our economy and strengthening the middle class.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“This new strategy provides more flexible employment services and better supports for all young Canadians. Today’s agreement with Quebec allows us to help Quebec youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to successfully transition into the labour market and ensure that no one is left behind.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Québec

“This new transfer allows Quebec to consolidate its role as being responsible for active employment measures in its territory and to offer the best possible support to citizens and businesses in the current labour market environment. I am pleased today to announce this new agreement, which represents several significant gains, some of which are related to Quebec’s historic claims to the federal government for youth clients.”

-Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region

Quick facts

  • The Government of Quebec will receive approximately $135 million over five years. The precise annual funding level will vary, as yearly calculations will be made based on factors such as the youth unemployment rate and population in the province and funding level of the YESS.

  • The YESS has been modernized to deliver a wider range of programs to help youth overcome barriers to employment and gain the skills, abilities and work experience needed to get a strong start in their careers. Based on recommendations made by the Expert Panel on Youth Employment, the modernized strategy offers more flexible services, broadened eligibility and enhanced supports for youth facing barriers to employment.

  • The previous streams of the Youth Employment Strategy-Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience-have been integrated to create a more holistic approach to funding and service delivery.

  • In the last two years, the Government of Canada has made new commitments of more than $500 million to modernize the horizontal Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, so that it can better help all young Canadians successfully transition to work.

  • The modernized YESS supports the objectives of Canada’s Youth Policy, announced by the Prime Minister (Minister of Youth) in May 2019. The policy is a government-wide approach that reflects the values and priorities of young people and creates more opportunities for them to build a stronger and more inclusive Canada.

  • Just over 20% of Canada’s youth live in Quebec. The annual Quebec youth unemployment rate has been declining since 2009 (9.4% in 2018).

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