OTTAWA, April 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Some of Canada's most gifted and promising high school students gathered in Ottawa today for Canada's annual bioscience competition for youth. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, congratulated the competitors and highlighted federal support for youth, including recent budget initiatives. "Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Dr. Leitch. "Through our grants, tax credits and support for training programs, we are helping youth to gain the skills and experience needed to prepare for and succeed in the workforce." Bioscience Education Canada received $50,000 in federal funding to organize the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada competition and encourage more youth to pursue jobs in Canada's growing biotechnology sector. "Employers in Canada and around the world increasingly require highly skilled workers," added Dr. Leitch. "Competitions like this one are an exceptional way to inspire young people to explore careers in fields that are in high demand." Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada announced plans to encourage youth to pursue education and careers in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as the skilled trades. To further help youth, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes an investment of $70 million over three years to support 5 000 paid internships. This is in addition to an extra $50 million over two years from Economic Action Plan 2012 to connect young Canadians with jobs in high demand through the Youth Employment Strategy (YES). With an annual budget of more than $300 million, YES helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer. Youth employment programs are part of the Government of Canada's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit actionplan.gc.ca. The Government of Canada is helping youth plan their careers, learn new skills and find jobs through enhanced online services available at youth.gc.ca.
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need. These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups, including persons with disabilities, youth, Aboriginal people and newcomers.