MASSE AND STAKEHOLDERS ADDRESS PROGRAM CUTS TO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
January 21st, 2011 - 3:21pm
Challenge issued to the private sector to tackle the shortfall
[WINDSOR, ON] Youth unemployment remains a serious challenge faced by our community; statistically youth are almost twice as likely to be unemployed when compared to the rest of our local labour force. Recent cuts in Windsor to the Canada Summer Jobs Program—a Federal initiative that provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students will only exacerbate this problem and must be addressed.
“I have been made aware that the funding for the Canada Summer Jobs Program in both Windsor West and Windsor Tecumseh has been cut. I am disappointed by this but see this also as an opportunity to raise this issue and challenge the community. I am asking our local businesses and organizations to find room in their budgets to hire youth. I am setting aside funds in my budget for this purpose and challenge the private and in Windsor/Essex to do the same.” Masse noted.
It is well documented that Windsor has faced many challenges as a result of the global economic downturn, particularly with respect to high rates of unemployment. Perhaps lost in the enormity of this issue and the necessity to respond to it effectively are some of the systemic issues that have affected our local labour market for many years. “When we don’t provide opportunity for young people to establish themselves in the community we put our long term sustainability of at risk. If there is no opportunity here then the investments we make in our youth today are never realized tomorrow. We cannot afford to allow this problem to fester.” Masse elaborated.
The problem of youth unemployment has grown over the years. Changes in the Canadian labour market have exacerbated these problems, and the impact of the global recession has raised this situation to crisis levels. Masse explained “Over the last decade there have been structural changes to employment as more people have decided to work longer in their life and retirees have re-entered the workforce en mass. Due to a changing economy pension shortfalls and the cost of living people simply are working later in life, however we need to be determined not to leave youth behind.”