Kristen Spruit: Feds aim to reduce unemployment rate for recent graduatesThe University of Calgary is among the participating organizations and small businesses across Canada that will be offering paid internships to under-employed post-secondary graduates over the course of the next two years.

The federal government announced Friday that 1,200 graduates across Canada will have the opportunity to participate in the Digital Skills for Youth program. The program aims to help post-secondary graduates gain the digital skills needed to attain “meaningful work experiences” and “well-paying middle-class jobs.”

Recent reports from Statistics Canada show that the unemployment rate in 2017 for post-secondary certificate or diploma graduates 25 years and older was 5.3 per cent. The rate was slightly lower for graduates with a bachelor’s degree at 4.3 per cent. However, unemployment rates for people 25 years or older with only a high school diploma or some post secondary education rose to more than 6.1 per cent.

Unemployment rates in Alberta were slightly above the national average, as following:

  • High school graduate: 7.8 per cent
  • Some post secondary: 8.4 per cent
  • Post secondary certificate or diploma: 6.8 per cent
  • Bachelor’s degree: 6 per cent

Minister of Innovations Navdeep Bains said in a statement that digital skills are critical in today’s economy, which is becoming increasingly knowledge-based.

“In a modern workplace, digital skills are highly valuable. Equipping recent graduates with real-life work experience and a broad range of skills and knowledge will help improve their employability and enhance their career potential,” Bains added in the statement.

The internships will be available until March 31, 2020. Organizations recruiting interns will include the Canadian Media Producers Association, Colleges and Institutes Canada, the Ontario Library Association, Communautique, the Pinnguaq Association, the University of Calgary, the Vancouver Community Network, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Province of Prince Edward Island.

Digital Skills for Youth is part of the federal government’s Youth Employment Strategy. The multi-year plan aims to reduce employment barriers and transition young graduates into the labour market quicker through skill development and the creation of job opportunities.

Kristen Spruit is a Calgary-based Troy Media business reporter.

Feds aim to reduce unemployment rate for recent graduatesThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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