Project Learning Tree Canada applauds updated federal government strategy to address barriers to youth employment

June 03, 2019

Courtney Jackson (L) with Minister Patty Hajdu (R).

Courtney Jackson (L) with Minister Patty Hajdu (R). Jackson worked as a Woodlands Operation Student Intern with Resolute Forest Products in 2018, thanks to PLT Canada’s Green Jobs in Green Spaces initiative.

Streamlined federal program will ensure Canadian youth are supported and empowered in finding meaningful employment in diverse sectors.

Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) applauds the federal government for modernizing and streamlining its Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program to better meet the needs of young people seeking jobs in today’s challenging labour market. PLT Canada is pleased to see that today’s announcement aims to address the specific needs of youth facing socio-economic and educational barriers to joining the workforce.

“The modernized Youth Employment and Skills Strategy strongly aligns with PLT Canada’s mission and objectives of providing youth with practical training and diverse employment opportunities that benefit the community, the economy and the environment,” said PLT Canada President Kathy Abusow. “By expanding the program to provide ongoing support for young Canadians to overcome barriers with services like mentorship and tools to help them understand a diversity of educational and career pathways, the government is ensuring that youth employment remains a priority and that young Canadians will be empowered to find good-quality jobs and pursue meaningful and rewarding careers.”

PLT Canada shares urgency in seeing barriers to accessing meaningful employment addressed.

For example, many youth living in rural communities face barriers such as the lack of a professional network or mentor in their field of interest, which can hinder meaningful work experiences, not just for students, but for all youth. This is why PLT Canada is on track to connect more than 2,000 youth with job opportunities across Canada, including in rural communities, in ecosystem and wildlife management, forest management, Indigenous forestry programs, recreation and interpretation, conservation and research, education and in provincial/territorial parks through its Green Jobs in Green Spaces initiative. This success is made possible by the organization’s work with both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Canadian Parks Council networks, and with over 120 employers across Canada.

Gender balance is being achieved in job placements and over ten percent of job placements have gone to indigenous youth. By delivering an evolving suite of programs and services, including mentorship, PLT Canada exposes all young people to a world of educational and career possibilities and helps them to achieve long-term success.

 “We look forward to working with Minister Hajdu, her department and our employer partners in implementing a modernized program to provide even more youth with the education and resources to attain careers in green jobs,” said Abusow.

About Project Learning Tree Canada

An initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Project Learning Tree Canada believes in a society that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests and the great outdoors. PLT Canada is committed to using the outdoors to engage youth in learning about the world around them—in rural, Indigenous and urban communities—and using trees and forests as windows on the world to inspire action and grow the next generation of future forest and conservation leaders.

For more information

David Folkerson
Director, Communications


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