Youth Opportunities Package

has announced a $152 million package to fund almost 17,000 opportunities. Some of these are:

  • 4,000 6-month job placements for low-skilled young people with a $5,000 wage subsidy for employers
  • 3,000 placements for youth to work on community programmes for 30 hours a week, paid at minimum wage
  • 4,000 places in polytechs etc for 16 and 17 year olds not in schools, with no fees. This can be for stuff like literacy credits.
  • 2,500 places in Limited Service Volunteers courses on military-style 6-week training programmes
  • 1,600 summer scholarships for university students

The $152 million includes $32 million of 2009 Budget funding and $120 million from the 2009 – 2011 between budgets contingencies. This means no additional Government debt is incurred.

There are a lot of things I think the Government should not fund. But the economic (and human) return on this package could be significant if they increase the skills and employability of all those youth who are currently dropping out of school early, so I think it is a great wee package.

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