Liberals announce details of new summer jobs program

Federal government raises funding to create employment

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Laval-area Liberal MPs (from the left) Angelo Iacono (Alfred-Pellan), Eva Nassif (Vimy), Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin) and Fayçal El-Khoury (Laval-Les Îles) have announced that a larger number of students will be able to find work this summer under a federal program providing employment subsidies to non-profit groups and small businesses.

Martin C. Barry

Laval’s four Liberal Members of Parliament gathered together recently to announce a federal program that will allow small businesses in Laval to obtain subsidies for the hiring of students 15 to 30 years of age this summer.

Jobs doubled

“We are currently working together to place the largest number of students in our four ridings,” Yves Robillard, the MP for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, said during a press conference held by the four to announce the program.

“This isn’t just a question of repeating something that’s already been done in the past,” added Alfred-Pellan Liberal MP Angelo Iacono. “Our government, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has decided to double the number of jobs and to show an even greater sense of openness towards young people who are our future.

Groups and businesses

“During the summer of 2016, more students and more organizations will be able to benefit,” he continued. “What is also great is that we will be helping businesses with fewer than 50 employees to get started at the same time. This is an initiative that will be helping a lot of people, many of whom are in Laval. That’s why our hat is off to our government.”

Iacono said the new Liberal government decided to double funding for the program taking into account the high level of unemployment among young people today. “If you look at the amount of unemployment among those 15 to 24 years today, which for 2015 is more than 13 per cent, it is more than double the rate for those 25 years of age and older,” he noted.

Gaining experience

According to Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif, those applying for the grants will have to meet criteria established by the federal agency handling the program: Service Canada. “These opportunities will give a chance to students to enter the workforce while gaining confidence in themselves and learning about work environments,” she said.

“By investing in our cultural industries and the creative sector in order to create employment while reinforcing our rich Canadian identity, we can also build the strength of the summer employment program in these key sectors which are becoming increasingly important in the economy for young people,” said Nassif, while adding that the program will also be taking into account the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation in 2017.

Money for studies

As part of the program, the federal government will be paying up to 100 per cent of the salaries of students employed by non-profit organizations and 50 per cent for those employed by businesses, said Laval-Les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury. “Youths sometimes have trouble saving money for their studies,” he said.

“This program should help them. We have two goals: helping more students to acquire work experience in their chosen field, while providing support to non-profit businesses and small businesses which need workers for the summer. We believe that this is one of the most beneficial programs around.”

How to apply

Applications for the program are being accepted from Jan. 4 to Feb. 26, with decisions from Service Canada expected to be announced by early May. Additional subsidies will also be paid to non-profit groups and businesses that hire students who are handicapped. Additional information and application forms can be viewed and downloaded from the Service Canada web site: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eec.

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