Mr. Speaker, the youth employment strategy, YES, helps young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workplace.
YES includes three streams of program, namely skills link, career focus and summer work experience. The skills links and career focus programs were not affected by the announced reductions
The summer career placement, SCP, initiative, which is a component of the summer work experience, provides wage subsidies to employers to create career related summer employment opportunities for students 15 to 30 years of age inclusively.
In budget 2006, we promised to review our programs to ensure every taxpayer dollar spent achieves results, provides value for money and meets the needs of Canadians.
When this government examined the spending in the summer career placement programs, we found that many employers would have provided these jobs even if they did not receive one cent of funding.
Canada’s new government will instead focus funding where students need help, whether it is in rural communities, for new Canadians, or targeted at other barriers for employment. We will help students where they actually need it.
Recently, we announced a budget reduction for SCP of $10.4 million in 2006-07 and $45 million in 2007-08. As a result, the program will be re-focused on students who need it the most because of where they live or the barriers they face.
The effect of our new program will be known when we evaluate the 2007 summer career placements applications.
I assure the member that the department will honour its ongoing commitment to help youth in need make the transition to the labour market.
The SCP initiative will continue to assist students in obtaining employment. In early 2007, employers will be invited to submit applications for creating summer employment. These applications will be assessed using a transparent, rigorous assessment process to ensure the initiative responds to students who need it most.