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March 4, 2016
For immediate release

Canada-P.E.I. Partnership Bolsters Opportunities for Youth Internships in the Province

Workforce and Advanced Learning

The government is making Canada a more digital nation by providing Prince Edward Island youth with the tools and skills they need to embrace the opportunities of the digital age. Today, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, announced that the Government of Canada is providing $543,500 in fiscal year 2015–16 to the P.E.I. Student Financial Assistance Corporation to fund over 60 youth internships. These internships are designed to help develop skills in the areas of small business, entrepreneurship and career awareness, with an overall focus on information and communications technologies (ICT).

The Prince Edward Island Supporting Youth in Careers (SYnC) Youth Internship Program unveiled its new Youth Commons Space, which will house 41 of the 60 youth internships. Located in the Atlantic Technology Centre, the space will house three cohorts of the SYnC youth program: the Hive cultural entrepreneurship program, the Propel Aerospace Program and the IT Garage. The space will allow for greater interaction between these youth programs and will foster information sharing.

The funding is made possible through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Youth Internship Program, a national initiative coordinated by ISED and funded through the federal Youth Employment Strategy. Each year, the Youth Internship Program creates jobs for young Canadians and other social, educational and economic benefits associated with the expanded use of ICT.

Quick facts

• A strong digital economy requires the right fundamentals, and it is important for young Canadians to take full advantage of the opportunities of the global digital economy.

• The government has committed to spurring innovation to increase productivity and long-term competitiveness and provide jobs and growth for Canadians.

• The Youth Internship Program is a key part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, with ICT-related not-for-profit organizations providing job opportunities for over 1,000 young Canadians each year.

Quotes

“This program is another great example of how we are working hard to make Canada a more digital nation by providing Canadians, and youth in particular, with the tools and skills they need to fully embrace the opportunities of the digital age.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Today’s announcement celebrates SYnC’s impressive new Youth Commons Space, which is creating local jobs while imparting valuable skills to today’s youth and tomorrow’s digital leaders.”

– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“This is the first time that multiple groups are working alongside one another in a common space, separate from other offices. We’re hoping that this shared space can become a permanent home for a large portion of our youth program.”

– The Honourable Richard Brown, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning

Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Backgrounder

SYnC Youth Internship

About Supporting Youth in Careers (SYnC) SYnC is a youth employment initiative delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and administered by the P.E.I. Student Financial Assistance Corporation. Funding is provided by ISED for youth interns to work out of local community centres and not-for-profit organizations. The internships are designed to help young people develop skills in the areas of small business, entrepreneurship and career awareness, with an overall focus on information and communications technologies. The three programs operating in the new youth commons space include:

• The Hive cultural entrepreneurship program: For the last two years, SYnC has partnered with Culture PEI - www.culturepei.ca in order to deliver the program, which employs young people between 15 and 30 years old who have completed at least some post-secondary education. The Hive seeks to foster entrepreneurial skills in recent cultural graduates who have an idea for a cultural or an artistic entrepreneurial venture but require specific business-related knowledge to take their idea to the next level.

• Propel: Since 2014–15, SYnC has partnered with the Aerospace & Defence Association of PEI - www.aerospacepei.com in order to deliver the Propel Aerospace Program. The program seeks to employ youth between 15 and 30 years of age who have completed at least some post-secondary education. The program gives interns the opportunity to explore career and educational options in the area of aerospace and defence on Prince Edward Island.

• IT Garage: Since 2013, SYnC has partnered with the information technology (IT) industry to deliver on the IT Garage program. This program hires recent graduates and students from IT- and business-related fields—generally IT programmers and digital artists—who work in teams to develop their own product, be it a video game or a business application. Teams receive feedback from industry mentors and develop professional and interpersonal skills. Teams are also granted the rights to their intellectual property for up to one year after their internship if they wish to pursue it as a business.

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Media Contact: Anne MacRae
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