Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

September 25, 2009 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps YMCA/YWCA Provide Young Canadians With Work Experience

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today launched a new internship program that will help young Canadians across the country get valuable work experience at non-profit organizations with a focus on environmental projects.

"Our government is dedicated to helping young Canadians get the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Minister Finley. "These internships will help youth across the country get the experience they need to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow and reach their potential. Our government is committed to creating the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world."

YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada will share a $15-million grant to create the Youth Eco Internship Program. These internships will help up to 1,000 youth gain work experience through paid work placements at not-for-profit organizations across Canada. Interested young Canadians and employers can find out more at

"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 non-profit sector will see youth gain important employment skills, training and experience, as well as enhance their civic engagement," said Ms. Janet Emmett, Interim 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."

"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 the 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."

The YMCA and the YWCA will administer the new Youth Eco Internship Program through the Grants for Youth Internships initiative, announced earlier this year in Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Economic Action Plan is working to protect Canadians during the global economic downturn, to create jobs and to prepare for long-term economic growth. As a key part of the Plan, the federal government is making significant new investments in skills development and training. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

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To support Canadians hardest hit by the global recession and prepare for long-term economic recovery and growth, the Government is creating more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development and training.

YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada recognize that finding employment can be especially challenging for young Canadians in today's economy. These organizations are working together to implement the new Youth Eco Internship Program, which will place unemployed youth aged 15 to 30 in internships at non-profit organizations with a focus on environmental projects.

The organizations have developed a joint Web site,, where interested young Canadians and employers can find more information on the program and how to apply. Potential interns and employers can also contact the organizations toll free at 1-877-668-7602 (YMCA) or 1-877-994-6876 (YWCA).

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 Eco Internship 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


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Contact Information

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