Canada’s future recovery depends on the opportunities and support we provide to our young people today. As a result of the pandemic, many students and youth have faced unique challenges and have seen their plans disrupted. As we build back better and stronger, the Government of Canada is focused on providing young people with greater access to post-secondary education, skills training and the job opportunities they need to succeed as they prepare to enter the labour market.
Today, to mark World Youth Skills Day, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, highlighted the Government’s Budget 2021 investments to help students and young Canadians access skills training and learning opportunities this summer and over the upcoming years.
Building off of previous investments, the Government’s historic Budget 2021 funding of nearly $5.7 billion over the next five years to support young Canadians and students includes:
- Over $371.3 million in new funding to the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2022-23 to support the creation of 75,000 new work opportunities for young Canadians. This investment builds on the record-breaking 150,000 Canada Summer Job opportunities available to young job seekers right now on jobbank.gc.ca/youth, which will help tens of thousands of Canadians gain meaningful work opportunities and save up for school this fall.
- New investments of $109.3 million towards the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to support 7,000 additional work opportunities for young people who face barriers to employment in 2022-23. This is in addition to funding announced in the Fall Economic Statement of 2020, which is expected to result in over 30,000 new placements for young Canadians this year, until 2022.
- Over $239.8 million in 2021-22 to fund the Student Work Placement Program, creating an additional 50,000 placements for post-secondary students through both existing and new delivery partners across Canada. Budget 2019 expanded the Student Work Placement Program, by working with seven new partners to provide placements for post-secondary students in fields outside STEM and business such as in the arts, humanities and social sciences. These investments are helping to ensure that work placements are available to every student who wants one.
- Recent investments to create the new Apprenticeship Service over three years, beginning in 2021-22. Over $470 million will be allocated to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish the new Apprenticeship Service, which will help 55,000 first-year apprentices start their careers in eligible Red Seal trades.
- Approximately $298 million over three years, beginning in 2021-22, through Employment and Social Development Canada, in a new Skills for Success program that will help 90,000 Canadians, at all skill levels, improve their foundational and transferable skills.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s ongoing actions to help young Canadians and students move forward from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting Canadians back to work and helping our young people to succeed requires opportunities for fulfilling and rewarding careers in all sectors. These investments demonstrate the Government’s commitment to helping young Canadians and students embark on, and stay on, the road to success.
“On this global day of recognition, I would like to thank the millions of young people, both in Canada and around the world, who have used their talent, education and skills to help others during these unprecedented times. Young people and students are powerful leaders of change, which is why our government will continue to make sure that they have the tools and supports that they need to succeed. It’s when all Canadians are working, learning and succeeding that Canada will be able to build back better, and these historic investments reflect just how essential young people are to the future of this country.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
On April 21, 2021, the Government committed an additional $5.7 billion through Budget 2021 over the next five years to help young Canadians pursue and complete their education, acquire new skills and access more work opportunities. This is on top of the $7.4 billion already invested to support young Canadians during the pandemic. Altogether, the Government of Canada’s response to the pandemic represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world.
In addition, Budget 2021 proposes to invest $4.1 billion to help make post-secondary education more affordable, and to provide direct support to students with the greatest need. This includes doubling the Canada Student Grants for two additional years; waiving interest on federal student loans and the Canada Apprentice Loans until March 31, 2023; enhancing repayment assistance so that no person earning $40,000 per year or less will need to make any payments on their federal student loans; and extending disability supports for recipients of student financial assistance whose disabilities are persistent or prolonged, but not necessarily permanent.