Minister McKenna Presents Career Focus Funding to CCAA

Remarks prepared for Minister McKenna's presentation of Career Focus Funding to CCAA

Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to announce funding through the Career Focus program to Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace, April 25, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario

Hello everyone.

I am pleased to be here on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. First, I’d like to thank Robert Donald and the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace for hosting this event.

I commend your organization for doing such great work. You’re making a real difference in the lives of Canadians through skills development. But, you are more than an organization that delivers programs.

You are creating fundamental change that will have a lasting impact on this community for future generations. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I want to personally thank you for investing in this community. We are proud to work with organizations like yours, to help young people develop their job skills and gain the hands-on experience they need to succeed in the job market. Many young people looking for work are struggling just to get a foot in the door. And all too often, many are caught in a Catch‑22: no experience, no job; no job, no experience.

Young people need a chance to show what they can do. Youth are the future of our economy. That’s why investing in young people is at the top of our list. We want to grow our economy, strengthen the middle class and help those who are working hard to achieve greater success. This year, our government has pledged to make significant new investments to help young Canadians. These investments will create valuable job and training opportunities for youth, so they can get a strong start as they transition into the workforce. As announced in Budget 2016, we created an expert panel on youth employment so that we can more fully understand the barriers faced by vulnerable youth when looking for and keeping jobs. I have my own Youth Jobs Council here in Ottawa Centre that I meet with regularly.

 We have been digging deep to examine new and innovative approaches that will help improve job opportunities for youth facing barriers to employment. But we can still do better—we should do better. Because supporting Canada’s youth is a priority we can’t afford to ignore. To deliver on that priority, we are investing an additional $165.4 million in the Youth Employment Strategy. The Youth Employment Strategy, or YES, has proven to be a successful intervention, providing incredible opportunities for young workers to gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs. In fact, since its inception, YES has helped over 911,000 youth prepare for the workforce of tomorrow, or pursue advanced education.  

One program YES includes is the Career Focus program, which aims to help post-secondary graduates join the labour market. It does so by helping them make smart, informed decisions about their futures, as well as by connecting them with employers willing to offer them what is often their first job, providing training and realworld experience. This program can be the catalyst a new graduate needs to launch their career. It’s one of the best ways to combine formal classroom studies with real-world experience. 

These are real people, who have real goals and they want to achieve their dreams just as much as anyone. So, we will continue investing in initiatives that get real results. This leads me to the reason I am here today.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Government of Canada, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we are investing over $220,000 in a wage subsidy program to be administered by the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace. With this Career Focus funding, at least 15 post-secondary graduates will get their first job in the industry, and an opportunity to develop their skills in aerospace manufacturing and the aviation industry

Our programs help connect youth with jobs while ensuring that local businesses benefit from the skills and talents of young Canadians. The Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace’s project is a concrete example of what we can achieve for youth by working in partnership with organizations across the country. We are equipping youth with a chance that can change their future. Investments like these, whether in small communities or large, are what make the difference. I am pleased to highlight a project that will make such a positive difference for Ottawa youth. The skills and experience that they acquire through this project will have a long-lasting impact on their path towards career success.

We are committed to ensuring that Canada’s youth can have opportunities for good jobs, to help them build better futures and to help fuel a healthy economy.  Thank you to everyone for joining me today.

Air Canada technical and training experts, including Air Canada AME Russ Fitzpatrick, give Minister McKenna and CCAA Executive Director Robert Donald an airside tour at the Ottawa International Airport on Tuesday April 25, 2017