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April 13, 2017: Federal Report; Youth and Jobs.

April 13, 2017: Federal Report;
Youth and Jobs.

By Catherine McKenna, M.P., Ottawa Centre.

I heard over and over again how hard it is for young people…

Despite a cold and long winter, I think spring is finally upon us here in Ottawa Centre. The sun is getting warmer, the birds are returning, and that means thousands of young people will soon put another school year behind them. With summer vacation just around the corner, many students are wondering where they’re going to work for the summer and if they will be able to find a job that benefits their long-term career goals.

During the campaign, I heard over and over again how hard it is for young people to find employment and to develop the skills they need for the jobs they want. The Canadian Teacher’s Federation reported in 2014 that more than a quarter of youth are underemployed, meaning they have degrees from accredited universities but are working in jobs that don’t require them such as customer service. The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show the unemployment rate for youth ages 15-24 as almost twice that of the general population.

Changing these statistics has been a top priority for me since taking office.

Canada Summer Jobs Program.
Our government knows Canada’s prosperity will increasingly depend on young Canadians getting the education and the experience they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Young Canadians need access to meaningful work at the beginning of their careers and the Canada Summer Jobs Program helps to provide them a first-hand glimpse at a dynamic and promising career path. The government is giving more youth than ever before the opportunity to get work experience through the Canada Summer Jobs Program – a program that allows small businesses or not-for-profit’s to hire young talent and receive a wage subsidy.
I encourage you to look into Canada Summer Jobs Program information at http://www.youth.gc.ca .

Ottawa Centre Youth Jobs Council and Consistency Youth Council.
I have been hard at work with my two youth councils to change youth unemployment rates in Ottawa Centre. This past November, I formed the Ottawa Centre Youth Jobs Council and the Constituency Youth Council as a way to stay connected with young people in the riding. The Jobs Council, made of representatives from the business, labour, and education community, is focused in creating an action plan for youth job creation. They are working to foster youth entrepreneurship and encourage employers to hire students and recent graduates.

The Constituency Youth Council brings together 25 students from high schools and universities in Ottawa Centre. I first met with them in February to hear their insights on job creation. We will continue to have meetings throughout the year so they can provide their advice on the pressing issues facing our youth.

On February 28th, the two councils worked together to hold a youth town hall at Shopify. With the help of the councils, I had the opportunity to hear directly from young people at the town hall about their personal experiences with youth unemployment and underemployment. I heard about the barriers young people are facing in entering the workplace, the skills they need, and the types of employment they are hoping to gain.

Including young people at the table for these discussions is critical to the success of our community and Canada. Over the coming months, I look forward to more opportunities to bring youth and business leaders together from across our city in support of youth job creation.

Keep In Touch.
I am committed to engaging with residents in Ottawa Centre. Please feel free to get in touch with our office at 613-946-8682 or Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca. Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter at http://catherinemckennamp.ca and follow us on Facebook at McKenna.Ottawa and Twitter @CmcKennaOttawa .

[Ed: An abridged version of Catherine McKenna’s Federal Report is available in the print edition of Newswest.]

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