Creating green job opportunities for youth

150 green jobs to be created in Ottawa

October 18, 2016                       Ottawa, Ontario                 Employment and Social Development Canada

As part of its commitment to strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it, the Government has committed to create new green job opportunities for young Canadians to give them a strong start in their careers.

Today, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced new funding for the Canada Green Corps, which will give 150 more college and university graduates valuable work experience in the green sector, including new and emerging areas like renewable energy and energy efficiency.

These young Canadians will work with employers who help reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, and protect and restore ecosystems.

The Canada Green Corps project, led by the United Nations Association in Canada, will help unemployed and underemployed young graduates build meaningful careers in the green sector. In addition, the project will assist employers in finding, developing and retaining innovative, creative youth in their organizations.

The Government of Canada will provide approximately $1.9 million in funding for the Canada Green Corps through the Career Focus program, which supports projects that enable youth to make more informed career decisions, develop their skills and benefit from work experiences.


“Through the Career Focus program, young Canadians have an excellent opportunity to engage with environmental challenges, and in the process, learn new skills and gain meaningful job experience that will be invaluable as we transition to a clean growth economy.”

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I am pleased to highlight a project that will make such a big difference for young Canadians. The skills and experience that our youth will acquire in green jobs through this project will have a long-lasting impact on our economy, on their career and on our environment.”

– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

ESDC’s investment in Canada Green Corps will escalate the green economy. It will employ un- and under-employed young people; build long-term skills and showcase Canada’s diversity advantage. UNA-Canada has received overwhelming support and enthusiasm from green companies and those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint while providing meaningful youth employment. Building on 20 years of successful diversity programming, youth internships and gender equity, UNA-Canada welcomes the vision and support of Minister Mihychuk, Minister McKenna and the Government of Canada.”

– Kathryn White, President & CEO United Nations Association in Canada

Quick Facts

  • Career Focus is part of the Government’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES). Each year, the Government invests more than $330 million in YES to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.
  • To expand employment opportunities for young Canadians, Budget 2016 proposes to invest an additional $278.4 million in 2016–17, making it the largest increase to YES since 1997.
  • Under YES, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and seven other departments and agencies are working towards a target of over 2,000 green jobs in 2016–17.

Associated Links

Youth Employment Strategy    
Career Focus Program


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Carlene Variyan
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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Youth Employment Strategy

The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. YES helps youth between the ages of 15 to 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. YES includes Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience and is delivered by 11 federal departments.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment—including single parents, youth with disabilities, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas—to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or return to school. Skills Link has helped over 230,000 youth since 2005.

Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates transition to the labour market through paid internships and helps provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies. The Career Focus initiative has helped over 37,000 youth acquire skills needed to join the job market since 2005.

Summer Work Experience provides wage subsidies to employers to create summer employment for secondary and post-secondary students. The Summer Work Experience program includes Canada Summer Jobs. The Canada Summer Jobs program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Since 2005, Summer Work Experience has helped over 505,000 students.

Each year, the Government invests approximately $330 million in YES to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to find and keep good jobs.

More recently, Budget 2016 proposed to invest an additional $278.4 million in the Youth Employment Strategy in 2016–17 to:

  • create new green jobs for youth;
  • increase the number of youth who access the Skills Link program;
  • support employment opportunities in the heritage sector under the Young Canada Works program; and
  • double the number of Canada Summer Jobs.

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