Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to the question from the hon. member for Churchill.
We are committed to ensuring that first nation youth have the skills they need to enter the workforce and benefit from participating in the economy.
To help achieve this goal, the first nation and Inuit skills link program is one of two programs that our government administers under the first nations and Inuit youth employment strategy. The skills link program provides many different aspects, including wage subsidies for work placements and mentorship for youth who are not in school, to enable them to develop the valuable skills necessary to ensure full participation in the workforce. It includes work experience specifically in the field of information and communications technology. It includes activities designed to support aboriginal entrepreneurship. It also includes training experiences that support youth in acquiring skills needed for work placements. It includes career development information, including awareness and support activities like career fairs and leadership projects, career planning, and counselling activities. It also includes activities that promote interest in science and technology among aboriginal youth, including science camps, computer clubs, and activities that connect science and technology to traditional aboriginal knowledge. As members can see, there is a diverse amount of opportunities contained within the skills link program for aboriginal and Inuit youth.
In Manitoba, we have arrangements in place to deliver approximately $4.5 million to support skills link and summer work experience projects for 64 first nations and organizations this fiscal year. The skills link program aims to promote the benefits of education as key to labour market participation and to help first nation and Inuit youth overcome barriers to employment.
Another objective of the program is to introduce youth to a variety of career options and help youth acquire skills by providing stipends for mentored work experience, as well as support the provision of mentored school-based work experience and study opportunities such as co-operative education and internships.
Ultimately, we expect participating first nation and Inuit youth to have enhanced employability skills, increased awareness of the benefits of education, enhanced ability to make employment-related decisions, increased appreciation for science and technology as a viable career or education choice, improved attitudes toward the transition from school to work, and an increased ability to participate in the labour market.
These objectives and expected outcomes are consistent with, and support, our government's youth employment strategy skills link program. We will continue to invest in aboriginal youth through these innovative programs.
Our government is focusing on funding projects that generate tangible results. We will continue to support the delivery of essential programs and services through organizations that get results, contributing to the improved living conditions and economic development of aboriginal peoples, while respecting Canadian taxpayers.