Providing support to 72 young northern Canadians

By griffith - August 11, 2021

RANKIN INLET, NU, Aug. 10, 2021 /CNW/ – Canada’s economic recovery depends on young people being able to get good, well-paying jobs now and into the future. This is why the Government of Canada continues to make historic investments in young people, to ensure they have the supports and opportunities needed to build long and successful careers.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, met with Ilitaqsiniq–Nunavut Literacy Council to discuss their project funded through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).

An Indigenous-led organization, Ilitaqsiniq–Nunavut Literacy Council will receive up to $1,649,066 to help approximately 72 youth across the territories develop the skills needed to get—and keep—good jobs.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, economic growth in the territories is expected to outpace the rest of Canada in the near-term, yet disengagement in learning and employment among Indigenous youth is significant across the North. The Northern Indigenous Youth Employment project will give these youth an opportunity to participate in programs that embrace traditional language and culture combined with teaching important workplace skills, so they are better prepared to seize the growing job opportunities their region offers.

We are taking a collaborative and government-wide approach to supporting youth and ensuring their inclusion in all aspects of the economic recovery. Through Budget 2021, the Government is investing an additional $5.7 billion 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. Thousands more young Canadians will be able to benefit from the following historic Government investments:

  • Approximately 37,000 new job placements through the YESS over the next two years;
  • 220,000 job placements through Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) over the next two years;
  • an expected 50,000 work-integrated learning opportunities through the Student Work Placement Program in 2021–22;
  • at least 85,000 work-integrated learning placements through Mitacs over the next five years starting in 2021–22; and
  • 28,000 training and work opportunities for young Canadians through the Canada Digital Technology Adoption program.

More than 160,000 CSJ opportunities have been made available to young Canadians across Canada as of August 1, 2021. CSJ offers opportunities in a wide variety of fields, including community and charity work, food industries, recreation and fitness, marketing and public relations, landscaping and farm labour, and many others.

Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world.


“Creating more opportunities for young people to gain the valuable skills and experience they need is more important now than ever. We know young Canadians today are facing unprecedented challenges, with disruptions in their job placements, studies and internships. Partners, like you, are creating life-changing opportunities by helping Indigenous youth who may be facing barriers to entering the labour market get the skills and professional training they need to build their future careers.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

“A priority for our government is providing young Canadians, particularly in the North and the Arctic, with the tools and work experience they need to successfully overcome barriers to employment as our economy continues to recover. I was happy to meet with Ilitaqsiniq–Nunavut Literacy Council, tour their workshop and learn about this innovative project and other programs they offer to support youth. I look forward to seeing the development of this project, and the tremendous impact it will have on young people in Nunavut and across the North.”
– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

“Ilitaqsiniq addresses the economic, social and systemic issues Inuit face in our territory by providing innovative and culturally meaningful programming that supports participants to overcome barriers. With the funding provided by Employment and Social Development Canada under the YESS, Ilitaqsiniq will work with youth to build on the strength and resilience of our young people to overcome the adversity and barriers they often face when it comes to employment opportunities. This project aims to support our youth to successfully overcome these barriers to achieve their personal and employment goals. This project will utilize the long-standing partnership between Ilitaqsiniq, the NWT Literacy Council and the Yukon Literacy Coalition to engage with youth across the three northern territories.”
Adriana Kusugak, Executive Director, Ilitaqsiniq

Quick Facts

  • Often, Indigenous youth see high rates of disengagement from the labour market across the North:
    • In Nunavut, the participation rate of Indigenous youth aged 15–29 reached a low point of 21.6% in May 2021 compared to 48.6% in September 2020. In comparison, the non-Indigenous youth of the territory had a steady participation rate, fluctuating from 76.9% in September 2020 to 75.1% in May 2021.
    • In the Northwest Territories, the participation rate of Indigenous youth was the highest of the territories at 62.4% in May 2021.
    • In Yukon, the participation rate of Indigenous youth reached 46.3% in May 2021, 25.4 percentage points lower than non-Indigenous youth (71.7%).
  • Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. These measures include:
    • Supporting more than 7,000 additional job placements through the YESS. This will make it easier for young people to get good jobs, and better meet the needs of vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers to employment. This builds on funding announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which is expected to result in over 30,600 new placements in 2021–22.
    • Investing $17.6 billion in a green recovery that will help Canada to reach its target to conserve 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, exceed its Paris climate targets, reduce emissions by 36% below 2005 levels by 2030, and move forward on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • In April 2020, the Government of Canada invested $492 million over three years, through Employment and Social Development Canada’s YESS program, for 269 projects across Canada to help young people, facing barriers to employment successfully transition to the labour market.
  • To support youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced in April and June 2020 increased funding by up to $187.7 million to the YESS program to create 9,500 more work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment. YESS projects managed by Employment and Social Development Canada received up to $40 million for national and regional programs that are providing flexible supports and targeted job opportunities for up to 6,200 youth aged 15 to 30, which surpasses the initial target of 4,700 jobs, in the areas of social support services, transport, information technology, research and administration, and other placements that support community needs.
  • CSJ is part of the YESS, which helps youth, particularly those facing barriers, to gain the skills and experience they need to successfully transition to the labour market. The program strives to give young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 paid work opportunities so that they can grow professionally and improve their skills in the not-for-profit, small business and public sectors. It also supports the delivery of key community services to Canadians.

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Youth Employment and Skills Strategy funding

The Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) is a Government of Canada initiative delivered in collaboration with 11 federal departments and agencies, including Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Through the YESS, the Government of Canada helps young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. ESDC’s YESS program supports organizations that provide job placements and skills development services to young people, as well as a broad range of supports such as job coaching, mental health support, clothes for job interviews, day care services for parents and subsidized Internet access to help with job searches.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada