Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

June 05, 2009 15:55 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Helps Young Canadians Get Work Experience

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) - A new internship program, funded through Canada's Economic Action Plan, will help young Canadians across the country get valuable work experience at not-for-profit and community services organizations with a focus on environmental projects. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today.

"It is more important than ever that our youth develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in the job market," said Minister Finley. "Whether it's a new university graduate in Newfoundland, a teen in rural British Columbia who hasn't received his high school diploma or a recently laid-off youth in Ontario developing a new career path, these internships will help young Canadians get the experience they need to reach their potential."

YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada will share a $15-million grant ($10 million and $5 million respectively) to create the YMCA and YWCA Youth Internships Program. These internships will help up to 1,000 youth gain work experience through paid work placements with not-for-profit and community services organizations across Canada. This initiative is part of the $1.9-billion investment for training and skills development announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan.

"The YMCA is excited to partner with the Government of Canada and the YWCA to help with the economic recovery of Canada's communities. These valuable eco internships in the not-for-profit sector will see youth in Canada gain important employment skills training and experience as well as enhance their civic engagement," said Mr. Wayne Perkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Canada. "By investing in youth, we are providing essential leadership lessons that will strengthen young people and our country for the future."

The YMCA and YWCA Grant for Youth Internships is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.

"We are very excited about this initiative," said Ms. Paulette Senior, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Canada. "This is an important extension of our youth-focused programming, supporting young people with opportunities to utilize the internship experience as a bridge to long-term and meaningful work. Working in partnership with our colleagues at YMCA and the federal government allows us to extend the reach of our mandate to be a turning point for young women across the country at critical junctures in their lives."

With a focus on environmental projects with not-for-profit and community services organizations, these internships support the goals outlined in Canada's Economic Action Plan of emerging from the economic crisis with a more modern and greener infrastructure and a more skilled labour force.

The Plan aims to protect Canadians from the impacts of the global economic downturn and to help provide for the country's long-term growth. Through major targeted initiatives, the Government is investing an unprecedented $8.3 billion to support workers and their families, including measures for income support, skills and training.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


To support Canadians during the global recession and invest in the country's long-term growth, the Government is investing $8.3 billion in the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy to help people hardest hit by the recession. Finding employment can be especially challenging for young Canadians in today's economy.

YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada are working together to implement the new Youth Internships Program, which will place unemployed youth aged 15 to 30 in internships with non-for-profit and community services organizations with a focus on environmental projects. The federal government announced a one-time grant for this initiative as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

In addition to the $15-million grant for the YMCA and YWCA Youth Internships Program that will create up to 1,000 youth internships, Canada's Economic Action Plan introduced several youth-specific initiatives, including:

- an increase of $20 million over two years for Canada Summer Jobs, which is part of the Summer Work Experience program under the Youth Employment Strategy;

- a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant that will be available to apprentices who successfully complete an apprenticeship program in a Red Seal trade. This represents an investment of $40 million per year; and

- an additional $87.5 million over three years to temporarily expand the Canada Graduate Scholarships program.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office