Martin C. Barry
Last week, Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif joined staff of the Dimension Travail women’s community employment agency on Saint-Martin Blvd. to mark the positive impact that a $158,604 federal subsidy had over the past two years on the lives of women who found employment through the centre.
The three-year subsidy was granted by Ottawa under the Youth Employment Strategy (YES). According to Nassif, improvements to the Youth Employment Strategy since 2015 have resulted in over 220,000 youths finding good quality jobs or youths improving their skills.
Creating more jobs
“When companies in Vimy and across Canada can thrive and grow, they create more jobs,” Nassif said. She said the government’s new Global Skills Strategy will give employers a faster and more predictable process for attracting top talent and new skills to Canada, creating economic growth and more better jobs for Canadians.
“Our continued prosperity depends on young Canadians successfully transitioning from the classroom to the workforce,” Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu (who oversees the subsidy programs) said in a statement. “Giving Canadian youth a fair chance at success is how we will grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.”
Summer jobs season
With the annual summer youth employment period nearly upon us, Nassif noted that “the summer work experience stream includes the ever-popular Canada Summer Jobs Program, a program that offers Canadian youths more summer opportunities than ever before.
“By working together,” she continued, “we will make a difference for young people everywhere. Our plan is to give every Canadian a real and fair chance at success. Supporting youths as they transition into the workforce and giving them the training they need to succeed is how we will strengthen the middle-class and build a strong workforce and an economy that everyone has a part in.”
Services free of charge
Sandrine Gaudelet, executive-director of Dimension Travail, noted that the organization will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. Dimension Travail’s services are offered free of charge to women living in Laval who are 18 years of age and older.
Among other things, Gaudelet said Ottawa’s subsidy from the Connexion Compétences program allowed Dimension Travail to help women aged 16 to 30 years who were in vulnerable situations to be reintegrated into the workforce over a three month training period while being remunerated through the program.
85 per cent success
“In all, the first group of 16 women were able to come to us 30 hours per week during a period of 10 weeks, and 85 per cent of these women either returned to the employment market or benefited from this training which enabled them to subsequently find work,” she said.
“Through this project, we were truly able to help these women. It was a great success for us, and even more so for them. It was a program which was very appreciated, because the support was very intense with a lot of interaction between the women. We have employment councillors who were able to help them with their needs.”
Modernizing the program
According to Nassif, the Liberal government’s budget 2019 proposes to invest $49.5 million to support the ongoing modernization of the YES. This will be in addition to investments made in budget 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the Youth Employment Strategy to help youths gain the skills and work they need to find and maintain good employment.
She said the YES is currently also being modernized, informed by the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Youth Employment and extensive engagement with youth, service delivery organizations and other stakeholders.