Evidence of meeting #76 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was program.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

David Burns  Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Dan Tadic  Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association
Barb Broome  Executive Director, East Prince Youth Development Centre Inc.
Justin Johnson  Chair, Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française
Elise Violletti  Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec
Rudy Humbert  Advisor, Entrepreneurship, voluntary work and voluntary action, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

4:30 p.m.

Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Elise Violletti

Actually, a number of youth employment centres provide those kinds of programs. In Laval, among other places, the youth employment centre is working with businesses from the region to integrate young people. Companies take care of training as far as work to be performed goes, but they leave the development of transferable skills to the youth employment centre. They want to make sure that the youth employment centre will provide support in situations that are more difficult to manage.

Other centres also provide support, even once the individual is employed. So we are talking about enhanced support, involving meetings. That service supports employers, but it also helps young people develop. It is really done in that context. There are needs to be filled, but employers don't necessarily always have the required resources or knowledge to support development that is more social in nature.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

In the same vein, I think the Minister of Labour would be interested in the fact that we have more information on this issue. I accompanied her to Turin, Italy, for the G7 Summit, attended by labour ministers. We visited a business that was using that kind of a program. We thought it was very interesting.

In addition, you said you were working on developing entrepreneurship skills in young people. What obstacles are you facing? That is another way to help young people find work.

4:30 p.m.

Advisor, Entrepreneurship, voluntary work and voluntary action, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Rudy Humbert

Absolutely. Since 2004, youth employment centres have worked on meeting the challenges of youth entrepreneurship. In each youth employment centre, an outreach officer would be dedicated to youth entrepreneurship, with a mandate to develop entrepreneurial culture in Quebec—in communities and schools. After 14 years, we have noted that the desire to become an entrepreneur has increased tremendously. Interest has more than doubled in Quebec. In fact, roughly one in two young Quebeckers is interested in entrepreneurship.

There is a will, but desire does not necessarily translate into action. The entrepreneurship rate is lower. Today, we are focusing on providing young people with support. That is done a lot through the Créneau carrefour jeunesse program. Experiential entrepreneurship projects are carried out in secondary schools to make young people aware of those opportunities. I assume those projects are very brief.

All the studies we have show that about 20,000 businesses will not find a buyer in the next few years and will have to close. That is the challenge of business purchases. The solutions lie in young people, women and newcomers.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

That's interesting.

Thank you very much. I'm afraid that's your time.

Now we go over to MP Fortier.

Go ahead, please.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you very much for your presentations. We appreciate the fact that you took the time to come share your experience with us.

As we know, Prime Minister Trudeau has put the emphasis on youth. This study helps us figure out how to increase their opportunities. In the latest budget, $572 million was invested in the youth employment strategy. That means investments are possible. They will continue to generate jobs and experience opportunities for young people, especially those who are vulnerable.

Mr. Johnson, you said that you have 20 years of experience in providing youth employment programs.

What is your relationship with employers from across the country?

Could measures or initiatives be introduced to encourage them to increase their participation and help young people learn experientially?

4:30 p.m.

Chair, Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française

Justin Johnson

Thank you for your question.

Employers are working on enhancing the vitality of francophone minority communities across the country. That interaction between young people who are engaged in our communities and organizations that are working on improving the vitality of francophone minority communities ensures the transition to the workforce. In a way, it counters our young people's overqualification and lack of experience, which are due to the fact that they stay longer in university and other French language post-secondary institutions. As a result, those young people lack concrete experience on the ground in our communities.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

If you could make two recommendations for the government to help young people reach their full potential—especially those living in French minority communities—what would those recommendations be?

4:35 p.m.

Chair, Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française

Justin Johnson

Linguistic duality and bilingualism must be recognized. If we want to live in a truly bilingual environment, we absolutely have to provide and make available jobs and training opportunities to young francophones in minority situations.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel, since programs like young Canada works already exist. There are measures in place to help access careers in French and English, such as bilingual internships. It is just a matter of reinvesting in existing programs and adding a touch to fulfil those specific objectives.

Young people talk about content, radio and communication. We want to be heard on social media and contribute to the francophone space across the country. That is why we want to develop digital content in French. Investments must be made in existing programs that are working very well. The government must also respect and recognize linguistic duality in its measures and plans.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Thank you very much.

I will be sharing the remainder of my time with my colleague Mr. Sangha.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

You have two minutes, sir.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

My question is to Mr. David Burns. We have people who are marginalized and those who are disadvantaged, those who are immigrants or who have fallen into criminal problems and other things. You talked about your program with regard to skilled trades versus undergraduate programs, those based not on grades and skills but on competency and ability. Would you explain how your program is beneficial for disadvantaged groups and youth?

4:35 p.m.

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. David Burns

There are two basic orientations to education policy in this regard. We can take the student body, in all of its diversity, and focus on getting them to fit within the constraints of the system that we have or we can attempt to change the system that we have, to permit a greater range of diversity. It is the latter that we're trying to do at KPU, and I think we need to do that more broadly across the country.

For example, when we have new immigrants, they come with an extraordinary range of skills and abilities, but essentially the only mechanism we have to understand what they can do is a pretty cumbersome process to transfer their credentials, which is where you get all of these clichés about highly educated people performing low-skill jobs because their degree from their home country is not recognized here. An education system that respects the knowledge and capacities of these disadvantaged groups needs to be based on competencies. It needs to be based not on the credentials that you have but on what it is you're actually able to do, whether that is with credentials from here or from somewhere else. Having a broader sense of what their capacity is would empower and enable all of those marginalized persons.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you. Sorry. Maybe somebody else will share some more time.

Monsieur Robillard, you have six minutes.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Chair, should we run out of time, can we give the clerk our written questions so she can send them to the witnesses?

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Yes.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

I now turn to you, Ms. Violletti.

According to my notes, you are the advisor in charge of special projects at the Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec. Can you tell us more about those projects? How do they help young Canadians you work with prepare for the labour market? Do you use government programs to carry out those projects?

4:40 p.m.

Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Elise Violletti

Thank you for your question.

There are different projects, and they vary from one region to another, since they meet the needs of young people and their communities.

I will give you a few examples of projects that have been carried out and that help young people develop their skills, among other things.

For example, l'École autrement is a CJE Les Etchemins project that helps young people who dropped out of school undergo training that will then help them pursue the job they want. That project is for young dropouts. The program is linked to school, and it enables them to earn school credits. That is really how it is done. The difference from the school environment is that support is provided through the youth employment centre. School board professionals come to the youth employment centre to encourage learning and the acquisition of knowledge. That is one of the programs.

The youth employment centre for the counties of Richmond and Drummond-Bois-Francs has developed a workshop called “touch wood”, where wood is used to help young people develop skills such as project management. Young people have to carry out an entrepreneurship project. So they have to find a product to build, manage its inventory and figure out how to sell it. That way, they develop skills that will help them find a job. The program will not necessarily lead them to a job in that field, but it will help them develop skills.

Ms. Broome talked about developing self-esteem, which is essential for troubled youth with difficult backgrounds. Those young people need to develop their self-esteem and participate in projects that will help them regain their self-confidence, but also get themselves going again and develop transferable skills.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Finally, let's talk about linguistic challenges.

Can you tell us whether a young person who is using the services of the Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec to find an internship may face linguistic challenges? Are they ever asked whether they are bilingual and can speak English? If so, does that happen only in Montreal? Conversely, do you ever provide services to young people for whom doing an internship in French would be a challenge? How do you adapt your services in either case?

4:40 p.m.

Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Elise Violletti

Once again, thank you for your question.

Youth employment centres adapt to their environment and to young people's needs. So Montreal is not the only place where young people speak only English. There are unilingual anglophone young people in a number of regions. In those cases, services are provided by the youth employment centre, where connections are made with anglophone organizations that can help translate the tools used, among other things.

There are young people for whom it may be difficult to do an internship in French, and conversely, there are others for whom it may be difficult to do one in English. So a support service is provided.

Generally speaking, services are adapted to young people. Translation is provided when necessary.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Can you tell us more about how Quebec's labour market for young workers compares to the labour markets of other provinces in terms of internships?

How is Quebec doing when it comes to the tools available to young people and the way our institutions prepare them for the labour market?

December 5th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.

Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Elise Violletti

Thank you for asking the question. That is something I will have to look into. For the time being, I suggest that we talk about internship-related elements that need to be emphasized.

Various organizations are also focusing on this issue. The Comité consultatif Jeunes, an organization funded by Quebec's labour market partners commission is currently doing research on internships. The first stage of the research focused more on student internships, and the second stage, currently underway, is about internships done in employability patterns. That research may shed some light on the issue.

I suggest that I send you more detailed information after the meeting.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Thank you very much.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you.

Now we will go over to MP Warawa.

Go ahead, please.

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you to the witnesses. It's very interesting testimony.

I have a question for Mr. Burns at Kwantlen.

You have shared the importance of work integration, moving from education into employment. You have a campus in Langley, British Columbia. You have one in Cloverdale and one in Surrey. I believe you're in the Surrey campus now. Is that right?

4:45 p.m.

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. David Burns

No, sir. We also have a campus, it should be said, in Richmond. I am at an office block in Burnaby. This is the only appropriate facility, I'm told.