News Release Archive

Premier/Education/Culture--National Youth Employment

Premier/Education/Culture--National Youth Employment Strategy
Increasing job opportunities for youth is a national concern, and
must be a national priority, Premier Russell MacLellan said this
evening, after a National Youth Employment Strategy was tabled in
the Nova Scotia House of Assembly by Education and Culture
Minister Robbie Harrison.

The strategy, developed through the Forum of Labour Market
Ministers following the Premiers' Conference in August, calls on
the federal government to join forces with provinces and
territories. Proposed guidelines for the partnership include:
more provincial consultation on federal initiatives and youth
spending; more co-ordination and less duplication in program
delivery; and full federal responsibility for costs of youth
employment programming for aboriginal people.  

The strategy proposes that both levels of government build broad
partnerships with employers, labour, education and training
institutions, communities and young people themselves with one
goal in mind -to help more young people find work. Premiers will
emphasize the importance of turning the national strategy into
action when First Ministers meet Prime Minister Jean Chretien on
Dec. 12. 
Premier MacLellan said there are no quick-fixes, but if everyone
works together on a comprehensive plan, beginning within schools
and communities, and continuing into the workplace, more young
people will be better prepared for and find jobs. The premier
cautioned that pieces of paper alone won't put young people to
"In Nova Scotia, we will see quick follow-up to this strategy
-building solid programs and partnerships that work for our young

To help young people gain the knowledge and skills they need,
Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison said more high
school course options will be available to better serve the needs
of students going directly into the workforce or training
programs. Entrepreneurship education, which helps young people
learn to create their own opportunities, will also continue to
grow.(Entrepreneurship education has reached more than 60,000
students in Nova Scotia over the past four years.
Entrepreneurship education and other entrepreneurship
initiatives, such as the Open for Business Centres, will create
200 new jobs this year.) 

At the post-secondary level, Mr. Harrison said government will
continue to support internship (e.g., Nova Scotia Links) and
co-operative education programs that give students the
career-related work experience they need to find that first job. 
Government will also make strategic investments to support
education and training in Nova Scotia universities and community
"I will also continue to push the federal government to introduce
a student loan forgiveness program -similar to Nova Scotia's -to
reduce student debt and remove any financial barriers to
continuing education," Mr. Harrison said.

Human Resources Minister Allister Surette, also responsible for
the Youth Secretariat, said  details of a "made-in-Nova Scotia"
youth employment strategy will be released soon. This strategy
will increase access to employment and on-the-job training for
16-to 29-year-olds, focussing on education, work experience and

Mr. Surette also referenced a civil service internship program
for students and young graduates seeking employment. As well,
about 100 young people will receive work experience through the
Youth Service Learning Action Project-aimed at 15-to-29-year-olds
who have not finished school and cannot find relevant work

In emphasizing the need for a partnership approach, Premier
MacLellan challenged employers across the province to give
bright, energetic, keen young Nova Scotians their first job. "I
think employers will quickly see a profitable return on their

The National Youth Employment Strategy was released earlier today
in Saskatchewan on behalf of all provinces and territories
(except Qu‚bec).   

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Contacts: Kim Jardine
          Premier's Office

          Donna MacDonald
          Education & Culture

sab                       Dec. 1, 1997           8:05 p.m.