Local employment centres will help administer Youth Employment Fund
Tracy Baxter expects to see more young people walk her door next month.
The program manager for the Goodwill Career Centre on Upper Gage says the east Mountain office is one of several local employment centres that will be helping connect young people with potential employers through the new $195 million Youth Employment Fund that begins Sept. 1.
“It’s a fund for employment service providers to tackle the high youth unemployment rate in the province,” said Baxter of the Wynne government’s program that was announced three days prior to five provincial by-elections and is aimed at finding jobs for 25,000 young people 15-29 over the next two years.
“There’s wage incentives, there’s also some money for training,” said Baxter.
She noted the new fund gives the employment centres more flexibility when dealing with young people and potential employers who must commit to a four to six month job placement for the young person.
Baxter said the fund features $1,000 for training compared to $500 in other programs.
That money will be used for things like learning CPR, computer programs or other qualifications required by the employer.
“The training has to be linked to their placement,” said Baxter, who noted the fund is aimed at high school drop outs and young adults who have Grade 12 education or less.
“It gives them a foot in the door,” Baxter said. “If the youth needed work boots and a safety vest, we can provide that from the training money.”
The work can be full or part-time.
Baxter said she feels local employers will take advantage of the new funding and she encourages businesses interested in using the program to contact one of the city’s Employment Ontario centres right away.
“We research all our employers ahead of time to make sure they’re a stable environment, that they meet all health and safety standards and insurance standards,” she said.