Liberals Promise $295M to Support Youth Employment

Premier Kathleen Wynne will be inaugurating a new two-year youth employment strategy, backed with $295 million in funding to generate 30,000 jobs, to lure the endorsement of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to Thursday’s Liberal budget. Agreeing to another of Horwath’s conditions to keep the minority Grits in power, Wynne announced the plan on Monday to persuade employers to hire more young people.

Addressing the media at a youth employment services office on Richmond St. W., premier Wynne stated that “when our young people can find meaningful work, we all benefit.” She explained that “this youth jobs strategy would help connect youth with careers they can build on and equip them with the skills they need to thrive in today’s global economy.” This new jobs strategy is an integral part of Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s first budget, which is scheduled to be tabled at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Sousa revealed that “studies show that spells of youth unemployment can have long-term social and economic consequences, leading to youth facing persistently lower wages and a higher likelihood of becoming unemployed later in life.” He added that “therefore, it is critical that this government and employers work together to pave the way for a brighter future for our youth.”

The budget endorses a sum of $195 million to the “Ontario Youth Employment Fund,” i.e. a part of the overall strategy planned to be launched this September if the budget is passed. This endeavor matches Horwath’s call for $195 million, $78 million this year, $117 million next year, “First Start” on-the-job youth training program.

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