June 21, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, during National Indigenous History Month and on the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, it is important to recognize the history, heritage, cultures and countless contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We know the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Indigenous peoples. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make historic investments and work collaboratively to ensure Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous youth, have the supports and opportunities they need to build long-lasting careers to support themselves and their families.

To mark the day, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, highlighted over $116 million that the Government of Canada is investing through Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS). This investment will provide young people, including Indigenous youth, with the supports and skills training they need to get a head start on their careers.

Across the country, 78 organizations funded through ESDC’s YESS program are delivering 78 projects that will serve close to 8,000 young people, including Indigenous youth. Over 40 of these organizations are Indigenous-led.

One such organization, the Indigenous Professional Association of Canada, has received almost $2 million to deliver Pathways to Success, a project through which 500 Indigenous youth in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario will gain skills that will help prepare them for their future careers. Skills building services include one-on-one mentoring, helping preparing résumés, and job interview coaching.

Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed 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:

  • 30,600 new job placements through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy in 2021–22;
  • 220,000 job placements through Canada Summer Jobs 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.

The Government of Canada is dedicated to the work it must do to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. As Canada reopens its economy, ESDC programs delivered by Indigenous partners, such as the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training program, will play a key role in ensuring Indigenous communities thrive and come back stronger than ever.

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Author: Editor
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