News Release Article from  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Recent Grads Gain Experience with Youth Internship in Rural Nova Scotia

Project offers internships to help retain post-secondary graduates in their communities

Elmsdale, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings—Hants, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) announced a $919,425 contribution from the Government of Canada to support the Youth Internship Project, offered through the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs).

The Nova Scotia Association of CBDCs is receiving this support through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) to provide 38 recent college and university graduates with one-year employment opportunities in rural-based small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community economic development (CED) organizations.

The Youth Internship Project (YIP) will strengthen employment opportunities in rural Nova Scotia, while providing rural-based SMEs and CED organizations with access to young talent. Hands-on job experience for rural youth through YIP will help to break the no experience/no job cycle for unemployed or underemployed post-secondary graduates.

By engaging this country’s youth in relevant job experiences that will develop and use their skills, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to growing our economy, strengthening the middle class, and helping those working hard to join it.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to making public investments that support the sustainability and retention of our post-secondary graduates making it possible for them to work and live in their home communities. Businesses, communities and interns will all benefit from this innovative approach which provides talented young professionals with meaningful work experience.”

     -  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“The Nova Scotia Association of CBDCs’ Youth Internship Project will have a lasting impact on the sustainable growth of rural communities in Nova Scotia. What better way to secure a strong economic future than by investing in our youth.”

     - The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings—Hants

“The Youth Internship Project will play a critical role in retaining highly skilled post-secondary graduates. We are thrilled to do our part to connect bright young minds--enriched by some of the finest post-secondary institutions in the province--to valuable work experiences right here in Nova Scotia.”

     - Erinn Smith, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations

Associated Links

Nova Scotia Association of CBDCs Links

Contacts

Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca

Erinn Smith
Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations
Phone: 902-883-4798
E-mail: erinn.smith@cbdc.ca


Background

The attraction and retention of skilled post-secondary graduates has increasingly become a recognized and essential component in the sustainable economic development of rural communities. The Government of Canada is committed to retaining post-secondary graduates in their home provinces by providing opportunities for employment in rural communities. In a recent study conducted by Abacus Data for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, it was found that in Atlantic Canada, 49% of people said job opportunities for young people was one of their top five priorities, higher than in any other region of the country1. To this end, the Government of Canada, through ACOA, is providing an Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) investment of $919,425 to the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations to commence the Youth Internship Project:

  • An $874,425 investment supports the salaries of 20 small- and medium-enterprise (SME) interns and 18 community economic development (CED) organization interns.
  •  A $45,000 investment supports the administration fees necessary for the rolling out of the project.

This project will provide several benefits for rural communities in Nova Scotia. It will:

  • Provide 38 recent college and university graduates with one-year work placements in rural Nova Scotia.
  • Benefit SMEs and CED organizations from the skills and knowledge of these new graduates.
  • Strengthen local labour market attachment in rural Nova Scotia, while providing rural-based SMEs and CED organizations with access to young talent.
  • Support youth to stay in their communities to gain meaningful employment and job experience.

Designed for young, recent graduates, who are unemployed or underemployed, YIP provides the type of hands-on job experience that breaks the “no experience/no job” cycle in Nova Scotia. The project is cost-shared between ACOA and the YIP applicants, with ACOA contributing 50% of wages and benefits, up to a maximum of $16,687.50 in the SME stream and is contributing 90% of wages and benefits, up to a maximum of $30,037.50, in the CED stream.

The Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations:

The Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations (the Association) is a not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to serve the common needs of its 13 member Community Business

Development Corporations (CBDCs) throughout Nova Scotia. Each member CBDC is mandated to promote economic growth in rural Nova Scotia through the provision of loans and business counseling assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises. As developmental lenders, the CBDCs assist in the creation of small businesses and social enterprises, and in the expansion, modernization and stabilization of existing businesses and social enterprises. CBDCs offer both technical and financial services for entrepreneurs in their regions.

From 1998 – 2012 the NS Association of CBDCs, in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency delivered a Youth Internship Program. The former Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism participated occasionally. Research conducted by the Association found that over 30% of the 220 interns who participated in the program are still employed in the CED/financial sector*, many with the original organization that hired them.  In Cape Breton, a similar project was supported through the former ECBC.

*The original version of the program focused solely on non-profit community economic development internships and did not offer internships with rural SMEs.

Innovative Communities Fund (ICF):

The Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) invests in strategic projects that build the economies of Atlantic Canada’s communities. Working in partnership with Atlantic communities and stakeholders, ICF builds on the strengths of communities and provides the tools needed to identify opportunities available for their sustainable economic growth.

ICF focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in rural communities. Urban initiatives that stimulate the competitiveness and vitality of rural communities may be considered on a selective basis.



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Hon. Scott Brison Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Persons Economics and Industry

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