Canada fares well on youth employment with the youth unemployment rate at 10.9 per cent in January 2018, however, we must do better to ensure vulnerable youth (recent immigrants, youth with disabilities, and indigenous youth) have pathways to success. Budget 2018 proposes to provide up to $448.5 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, to Employment and Social Development Canada to enhance the Youth Employment Strategy, which helps young Canadians gain the skills, work experience, and job opportunities they need to find and maintain good, permanent employment.
Budget 2018 proposes to provide $46 million over five years for a new program to develop and enhance pre-apprenticeship training, starting in 2018-19 and $10 million per year thereafter. Working in partnership with provinces, territories, post-secondary institutions, training providers, unions and employers, it will help Canadians, particularly underrepresented groups including women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and newcomers, explore the trades, gain work experience, make informed career choices and develop the skills needed to succeed.
Budget 2018 proposes to allocate $19.9 million over 5 years, starting in 2018-19, to support an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, a five-year pilot project where women in male-dominated Red Seal trades would receive a new grant of $3,000 for each of their first two years of training. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, will result in combined $8,000 in support over the course of their training.
Through Budget 2016, the Government committed to support up youth employment by providing funding for an additional 35,000 summer jobs under Canada Summer Jobs program over the following three years.
Budget 2017 made additional employment and skills development opportunities for youth through investments of $395.5 million over three years, starting in 2017-18, in the Youth Employment Strategy.
Budget 2017 made investments of $221 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, to renew and expand funding for Mitacs to provide 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for Canadian post-secondary students and graduates each year. These complemented Budget 2016 investments to create new co-op placements and work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business.
Budget 2017 renewed investments of $38 million over four years, starting in 2018-19, in Pathways to Education Canada to help youth in lower-income communities across Canada complete high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education and employment.
Budget 2017 announced a new pilot project and changes to the application process to help more low-income families, families in rural areas, and Indigenous families benefit from the Canada Learning Bond and save for their children’s post-secondary education. This measure provided assistance of $12.5 million over six years, starting in 2017-18.
In Budget 2016, the Government committed to investing $105 million over five years, starting in 2016-17, and $25 million per year ongoing in support of youth service. Building on this commitment, Budget 2017 will announce the launch of the Youth Service Initiative in Fall 2017. The Youth Service Initiative will help young Canadians gain valuable work and life experience, while also providing support for communities across Canada.