Julie Lefebvre described the labour force participation of youths between 15 and 24 in Canada. Over 75% of all youth employment is in the service sector, with 11% in manufacturing and smaller percentages in trade, accommodation, and food services. Moving from school to employment is still very challenging, particularly for people such as youths with disabilities who have barriers to obtaining jobs, she said.
The objective of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy is to help youths between ages 15 and 30 make the transition from school into the workforce. Its programs include international internships, science and technology internships, summer work programs, and First Nations and Inuit work experiences. Recognizing the changes experienced in the labour market over the last five years, HRDC has been given direction on reviewing the Youth Employment Strategy to better help youths meet changing employment needs, overcome employment barriers, and develop skills for the future.
Lefebvre concluded by encouraging the youth delegates to explore resources such as HRDC's Youth Employment Initiatives (including Youth Internship Canada, Youth Service Canada, Student Summer Job Action, the Information Initiative, and the Awareness Initiative), and opportunities in their local communities, which can be found on the Internet and in newspapers.