Wayne’s World: Supporting our youth

Monthly update from Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski

By Wayne Stetski, Kootenay-Columbia MP

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power towards good ends.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

In 2016, youth made up 30.05% of the population in our riding of Kootenay-Columbia, comprised of 0-14 years old 17,110; 15-19 years old 5,730; 20-24 years old 5,060; and 25-29 years old 5,900. I want to share some the opportunities that older youth have both here and in Ottawa.

“Youth need to be enabled to become job generators from job seekers.” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle

We all know the importance of meaningful employment as a youth – it provides experience that helps shape what we want to do with our lives in the future. One of the best ways to do that is through participation in the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Secondary and post-secondary students between the ages of 15 and 30 who are returning to full time studies in the fall are eligible.

In 2017, we were able to secure $632,913 from this program, which funded 192 jobs in small business, societies, and community organizations. We encourage you to contact places you think it would be interesting to work in this summer to see if they have applied for this funding to employ youth.

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes Laertius

Canada provides some interesting ways for youth to learn about our country and/or our Parliament, and in some cases to be paid while doing it!

The House of Commons in Ottawa has a Summer Student Employment Program. The application process for 2018 opens on March 1, 2018.

The House also offers the annual Page Program. Each year 40 bilingual students are selected from high schools across Canada to come to Ottawa to learn about Parliament and legislative processes first hand. I have met several young people from our riding working as Pages – exciting for both of us! You can also work part-time as a Page while attending university in Ottawa.

Parliamentary Internships are truly an amazing post-graduate work-study experience, providing a 10-month opportunity for youth to work closely with Members of Parliament from both sides of the House. Interns meet and discuss public affairs with some of this country’s leading thinkers and policy makers, as well as undertaking research studies in Canada and abroad.

Canada’s Senate also offers a Page Program, co-op opportunities and summer employment.

There are a number of Federal Government employment opportunities for youth including the Parks Canada Youth Ambassador Program, the National Research Council’s Co-op Program, the Federal Student Work Experience Program, and many more.

Although too late for this year, there are opportunities to become a Parliamentary Guide for the summer (applications close in mid-January so keep that in mind for 2019! Go to lop.parl.ca.guides.

Other ways for students to learn about how Parliament works include:

· The Library of Parliament Student Work Program

· Daughters of the Vote

· Forum for Young Canadians

· Canadian International Model United Nations

· The University of Toronto Women in the House

“It is not possible for civilization to flow backward while there is youth in the world. Youth may be headstrong, but it will advance its allotted length.” – Helen Keller

To learn more about opportunities for employment and/or education for our youth, please visit my website at http://waynestetski.ndp.ca/youth-opportunities.

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