Government of Canada Invests to Help Youth Facing Barriers to Employment

November 20, 2020

Canada’s future depends on our young people being able to get the good, well-paying jobs they need to succeed. That is why the Government of Canada is continuing to take strong action to provide the support they need to move forward from the impacts of the pandemic, and successfully plan for their future careers.

Today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced an investment under Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) that will help 125 young people in Guelph, Ontario get the skills and experience they need.

2nd Chance

Second Chance Employment Counselling Inc. will receive nearly $1.4 million over the next three years for their innovative Ways2Work project. This project will provide job readiness training and opportunities to 125 young people in Guelph who face barriers to employment, including youth with disabilities, mental health concerns and racialized youth. Through case management, one-on-one supports and mentorship services, young people participating will benefit from a wide range of job skills, training and knowledge needed to further their education and kick-start their careers. 

Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment in the 2020 Speech from the Throne, which included creating more job opportunities through YESS to help more young Canadians get the skills and paid work experience they need to build long and successful careers. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to look for ways to support all Canadians, including young people and students building their future careers.


“Creating more opportunities for young people to gain the valuable skills and experience they need is more important now than ever. Young Canadians today are facing unprecedented challenges, with disruptions in their job placements, studies and internships. Partners like Second Chance Employment Counselling are creating life-changing opportunities by helping those facing barriers to entering the labour market get the skills and professional training they need to build their future career. This project could not have started at a better time.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Helping young people overcome obstacles and work on their future careers is essential to building a strong economic recovery for generations to come. Ways2Work goes a long way in helping youth get the skills and experience they need to launch meaningful careers in areas that they are passionate about. I am pleased to see the program continue in Guelph and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have.”

– Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“The ways2work program has changed the lives of many Guelph youth.  With this funding from the Government of Canada, Second Chance can continue to offer this employment program at this time of great uncertainty and unprecedented challenges to support our youth and our community now and moving forward.” 

–Chris Baginski-Hansen, Executive Director-Second Chance Employment Counselling (Wellington) Inc

Quick Facts

  • The YESS supports organizations that provide job placements and skills development services to young people, as well as a broad range of support such as job coaching, mental health support, clothes for job interviews, daycare services for parents and subsidized Internet access to help with job searches.
  • In April 2020, the Government of Canada invested $492 million over three years through Employment and Social Development Canada’s YESS program for more than 270 projects across Canada to help young people facing barriers to employment.
  • In addition, the Government of Canada announced COVID-19 measures to support young Canadians and students affected by the pandemic, including:
    • Increased funding of up to $187.7 million to the YESS program to create 9,500 more work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment. YESS projects managed by ESDC received up to $40 million for national projects that are providing flexible supports and targeted job opportunities for up to 4,700 youth aged 15-30, in the areas of social support services, transport, information technology, research and administration, and other placements that support community needs;
    • Additional funding of $61.7 million to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program to help expand the current work placement target from 70,000 to 80,000, creating 10,000 more placements for young people aged 15 to 30;
    • Increased funding of $266.1 million to the Student Work Placement (SWP) Program to support up to 40,000 work placements for post-secondary students in vital sectors such as healthcare; and
    • A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans (CSLP), from March 30 until September 30, 2020. This measure—at a cost of $186 million—provided relief to more than 1 million borrowers. This was on top of direct income support through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. 
  • Taken together, these measures are not only helping to ensure youth and students get the financial support they need now, but that they continue to have access to the tools and opportunities that will help them build successful careers in the future as the pandemic continues to evolve.  

Associated Links

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Giving young Canadians the skills and experience they need to launch meaningful careers

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy - Funding Programs

Student Work Placement Program

Canada Summer Jobs

For media enquiries, please contact:

Lianne Cassidy

Executive Assistant to MP Lloyd Longfield



Media Relations Office

Employment and Social Development Canada