Young Canada Works
Young Canada Works (YCW) is a youth employment program established in 1996 and administered by the government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage. The program is part of the government-wide approach to addressing the employment needs of Canada's youth. Under the Youth Employment Strategy (YES), several departments and agencies work together to provide programs and services to young people with the objective of facilitating their transition from school to work.
YCW was launched within a context of rising costs of post-secondary education, new skills requirements to meet the needs of a rapidly changing labour market, and youth unemployment rates that were double the overall unemployment rates. The program has a continued mandate to help Canadian youth break the "no experience, no job and no job, no experience" cycle, while contributing to the development of culture and heritage, official languages, and urban Aboriginal peoples throughout Canada.
The Young Canada Works program supports the yearly creation of over 2000 summer placements with an annual budget of $10 million. These summer jobs assist students with the funding of their education and help them obtain critical work experience. In 1997 additional funding was provided to create internships for graduates in the areas of Science and Technology and employment on the international scene. All of the summer jobs and internships are in sectors related to the mandate of the Department of Canadian Heritage. These include heritage promotion and preservation, Film and Broadcasting, the promotion of Canada's official languages, the development of urban Aboriginal communities, and the visual, performing and literary arts.
The Young Canada Works philosophy has always been that the skills of Canadian young people are our greatest resource. The program has supported the creation of over 10 000 summer jobs and internships between 1996-97 and 1999-2000.