PLT Canada receives $7.8 million to place 1,200 more youth into safe, Green Jobs during COVID-19

September 30, 2020

Minister Catherine McKenna announces PLT Canada's new funding. Behind her stand three students, PLT Canada's Green Jobs manager Zac Wagman and Carleton University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

Minister McKenna announced PLT Canada’s new funding on Carleton University’s campus and met with three Green Jobs youth who work to research the health of local waterways. Carleton’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Benoit-Antoine Bacon, and PLT Canada’s Green Jobs Manager, Zachary Wagman, also spoke.

On September 11, the government of Canada announced that Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) has been awarded $7.8 million under Employment and Social Development (ESDC)’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) to place youth across Canada into an additional 1,200 Green Jobs by March 31, 2021.

Thanks to ESDC funding, and our network of over 200 employers across Canada, we have already placed youth in over 3,000 high-quality work experiences since 2018 in the forest and conservation sector, including over 500 Indigenous youth from over 80 Indigenous communities, with our 50% wage matching program to hire local youth. 

“Today’s youth are passionate, engaged and ready to make a difference in their communities. This is why the Government of Canada is providing job opportunities for Canadian youth facing barriers to gain skills and work on projects that not only give them experience they can build on, but will […] pave the way for future generations of students,” said Minister McKenna in an event outlining the funding.

The new funding is part of Canada’s measures to support young people during COVID-19, with a focus on youth facing barriers to employment, including Indigenous youth, newcomers and youth from rural or remote communities. PLT Canada is proud of its successful track record of achieving gender balance in its Green Job placements year after year. We have also given roughly two out of every five job placements to Indigenous youth, with more than 23% of our placements going to youth from rural communities. Our professional services include a mentorship program, mental wellness support, equipment subsidies to support youth during their work experiences, and more!

“PLT Canada is committed to advancing career pathways using trees and forests as windows on the world. Young people are our future. We are very excited about this opportunity to serve this generation, including those facing systemic barriers, while supporting a diverse and resilient future workforce for the forest and conservation sectors,” said Kathy Abusow, CEO. “We were also pleased to see a promise to scale up the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, and a commitment to ensuring green jobs are part of ‘building back better’ in the Speech from the Throne.”

Thank you to ESDC and the government of Canada for this renewed support and to our incredible employer partners across the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Canadian Parks Council networks for your commitments to growing the next generation of forest and conservation leaders.

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

About Project Learning Tree Canada

Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) believes in a society that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests and the great outdoors. We are committed to using trees and forests as windows on the world to inspire action and grow future forest and conservation leaders. Our environmental education and professional development services, which include high-value work experiences and an industry-leading mentorship program, support youth across Canada on their green career pathways, including those in rural, Indigenous and urban communities. Project Learning Tree is an initiative of SFI. Learn more:

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative

SFI advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, non-profit organization that demonstrates our commitment to forests through our work in standards, conservation, education, and community. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments to achieve a vision of a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Learn more: 

About the Canadian Parks Council

The Canadian Parks Council (CPC) exists to connect and coordinate action among Canada’s national, provincial and territorial park agencies. Together the CPC represents the interests of 14 governments, over 2700 parks, and a shared mandate to enhance the environmental, social and economic values of parks and protected areas throughout Canada.  Since 1962, park agency leaders have served the CPC as board members where they share information and leverage opportunities to improve the management effectiveness and sustainability of parks for current and future generations.  The work ethic of the CPC is to design for impact by always considering the benefits of parks within the context of larger systems – by working with aligned partners collective prosperity is cultivated allowing more people and organizations to experience the powerful benefits of nature. Learn more:


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