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PLT Canada receives funding to help 1,700 youth aged 15-30 find jobs in the forest and conservation sector

April 16, 2021

On April 16, the government of Canada announced that $12.8 million has been awarded to Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) through a partnership with Parks Canada to support hiring youth into Green Jobs.

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the funding, provided under the Youth Employment and Skill Strategy (YESS), during a Facebook Live event with Minister Carla Qualtrough and PLT Canada’s President and CEO, Kathy Abusow.

“Canada’s future depends significantly on the health of our country’s forests and ecosystems and on the skills and ingenuity of our youth. I am pleased to support investments to employ young people in the conservation of forests and protected places and in the enjoyment of these places by all Canadians. The young people employed through these partnerships are the next generation of stewards of Canada’s invaluable ecological resources.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada 

This funding will help place over 1,700 youth into diverse paid opportunities across the forest, conservation, and parks sectors, using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s, Canadian Parks Council’s, Nature Conservancy of Canada’s , and Ducks Unlimited Canada’s networks. PLT Canada Green Jobs will also contribute to Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years.

Since 2018, PLT Canada has helped place young people (ages 15–30) in over 3,500 work experiences by offering a 50% wage match to more than 250 Green Jobs employers. Thanks to the new funding from the government of Canada, PLT Canada can continue supporting employers with wage matching and youth with job opportunities.

“By taking bold action and thinking outside of the box, our government is setting up young Canadians for success and ensuring an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our collaboration with Project Learning Tree Canada is a great example of how government can work with community organizations to break down barriers to employment and create long-lasting change in the lives of young people. When we make skills-building and job opportunities available to young Canadians, we all succeed.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

The goal of YESS is to help young people in Canada gain skills and paid work experiences to join the workforce. PLT Canada is committed to helping all youth, including Indigenous youth, youth with disabilities, visible minority youth, young black Canadians, and youth living in rural or remote areas along their career pathways, offering supports ranging from skill-building resources, to job opportunities, to mentorship programs.

There are so many diverse, rewarding green careers in Canada that many people aren’t aware of. By working in a Green Job, you contribute to a more sustainable planet. Jobs supporting the conservation of nature and sustainably managed forests are key to helping fight climate change—sustainable management helps conserve biodiversity, store carbon, maintain the quality of our water, and more.

Through past PLT Canada Green Jobs, young people have gained valuable experience in positions like silviculturists, wildlife biologists, and Indigenous knowledge coordinators. PLT Canada’s Green Jobs Quiz can help you explore different options by matching your personality to the meaningful green careers best suited to you.

“It’s vital that we help all young people find success in discovering and navigating green career pathways. This is something we value deeply at PLT Canada, and we’re proud of the positive impact we continue to have through meaningful gender-balanced work experiences and our positive engagement of Indigenous, newcomer and all youth that may need support accessing jobs across the country. We’re looking forward to working with Parks Canada in providing access to valuable opportunities for all youth, including those facing barriers, in the forest and conservation sector.”

– Kathy Abusow, President and CEO, Project Learning Tree Canada

Thank you to the government of Canada for their renewed support, Parks Canada for their partnership, our incredible employer network for being committed to building a diverse and resilient Green Jobs workforce of the future, and our youth network for bringing new perspectives and so much value to the sector.

Read Parks Canada’s press release here.

Employers: Find out if you are eligible for PLT Canada’s 50% Green Jobs wage matching program.

Youth: Register as Job Seeker to apply for Green Job opportunities across the country.

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