ERIC Identifier: ED399482
Publication Date: 1995-00-00
Author: Hanna, Sharron - Dornan, Lisa
Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Greensboro NC., Canadian
Guidance and Counselling Foundation Ottawa (Ontario).
New Federal Youth Initiatives in Canada. ERIC Digest.
Statistics Canada recently confirmed that young people were the hardest hit
by the 1990-92 recession and are finding it increasingly difficult to find
employment (Sunter, 1994). For example, the 1993 youth unemployment rate of
17.8% is the highest annual rate since the 1983 rate of 19.8%. The 1993 rate
would be even higher if youth had persisted in their job searches instead of
"giving up" and withdrawing from the labor market. College and university
graduates are also experiencing greater difficulty in securing jobs.
The inability of young people to form a serious attachment to the labor
market can have grave consequences. There is evidence that those who seek
employment during difficult times, but are not successful, will continue to
experience ongoing hardships throughout their working lives, often developing an
ongoing dependency on the social safety net.
INVESTING IN YOUTH
The Canadian federal government's youth
employment and learning strategy sets out several educational and training
priorities which, together, offer young Canadians direction as they prepare for
the future labor market. The strategy included two key elements on the youth
Youth Service Canada aimed at putting out-of-school and unemployed young people
back to work.
Youth Internship Program supported new, entry-level training programs for
occupations in expanding industries.
YOUTH SERVICE CANADA
Young people today face a frustrating
dilemma: one needs experience to get a job, but without a job, one cannot get
experience. "The proportion of Youths who have never held a job rose sharply
from 10% in November 1989 to 16% in November 1993" (Sunter, p.32). Youth Service
Canada (YSC) aims to address this dilemma using a three pronged approach:
young people's sense of accomplishment, self-reliance, and self-esteem.
young people to gain meaningful work experience, while using and improving their
personal and work-related skills, through service to their community and their
stronger communities and a better Canada by enabling young people to address
issues of concern to youth and by building a greater awareness of Canada's
Four streams were identified as priorities in YSC:
Community Development and Learning
Sustainable Development and Environment
Tulu (personal development)
During the spring and summer of 1994, 67 lead-site projects were officially
launched, engaging over 1,100 unemployed youth in productive community service
work terms lasting from 6-9 months. Participants received a weekly stipend and a
completion grant in the form of a voucher, valued at no less than $2,000 which
could be redeemed to cover the costs of going back to school, subsidize wages at
another job, pay for daycare while working, cover travel costs to get a job or
move to another job, use as collateral for a small business loan, or repay
YOUTH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
In its 1992 study of education and
training in Canada, the Economic Council of Canada observed that "Canada has one
of the worst records of school-to-work transition. School leavers find a job by
trial and error, often wasting their own and society's resources in the process" (ECC, 1992, p.18). Approximately 60% of youth now enter the labor market
directly from high school with no additional structured education or training.
However, it is estimated that in Canada, almost half of the new jobs created by
the year 2000 will require at least 17 years of education and training.
The Youth Internship Program will target young people who choose
technical/vocational training over an academic post-secondary education, and
will include high school students, high school graduates, and early school
leavers who are looking for training or work opportunities The program began in
1994-95 with a demonstration phase to test a variety of entry-level training
programs. Internships will be offered as follows:
sectors: Sector Councils represent industry workers and employers and establish
skill standards and training programs. Entry level training programs will be
offered for studies in the environment, logistics, automotive repair,
horticulture, and tourism sectors. Other national Sector Councils that have
shown interest in developing entry-level training models are the electrical and
training: High school and post-secondary cooperative education programs will be
expanded and refocused, particularly in technical/vocational areas. The idea is
for school boards, colleges, and employers to develop more comprehensive
programs providing a combination of both classroom and workplace skills
training: Entry-level training projects will be led by private and public sector
associations, non-governmental organizations, and education and training
institutions driven at the community level. Programs will be based on common
standards recognized across Canada.
COUNSELING: SOME CRITERIA
Human Resources Development
Canada is supporting the "Building Better Career Counselling" initiative of the
Canadian Guidance and Counselling Foundation (CGCF) to ensure that career
development resources developed under the Creation And Mobilization of
Counselling Resources for Youth (CAMCRY) and Stay In School (SIS) programs
become an integral part of the federal government's youth initiative. Of notable
importance are the career and skills development components of Youth Service
Canada and the Youth Internship Program. The provision/availability of career
counseling was one of the several criteria considered in selecting and approving
the best Youth Service Canada project proposals. Youth Service Canada
participants will be provided with special services in such fields as career
planning and counseling, career and labor market information, volunteer adult
mentors, and transition assistance.
Youth Service Canada project coordinators will be able to access training in
the use of the CGCF materials as they help young people build career action
plans. The career counseling resources will provide a highly effective
complement to the work experience acquired by Youth Service Canada participants.
These youth will be equipped with the employability and career development
skills needed to make smooth school-to-work transitions, informed career
decisions, and hence, succeed in today's dynamic and challenging labor market.
Youth Service Canada and the Youth Internship
Program supplement other noteworthy initiatives at the provincial and federal
levels. All are aimed at improving the educational, training, career
development, and employment opportunities facing unemployed and disadvantaged
youth across Canada. Youth Service Canada and the Youth Internship Program are
unfolding in tandem with other efforts to modernize Canada's training and
learning system. These programs offer clear pathways for participants to become
self-sufficient by establishing a strong connection with the labor market. In
this way, the program will help young people break both the mounting dependency
on passive social assistance and cycle of "false starts" on the labor market.
Economic Council of Canada. (1992). "A Lot to Learn: Education and Training
in Canada." Ottawa, ON: Supply and Services Canada.
Sunter, D. (Spring, 1994). "Youths - Waiting It Out. Perspectives." Ottawa,
ON: Statistics Canada.