Great things ahead for youth
By Karena Walter
Finding a job may become a tad easier this summer as a new employment centre and website was launched by the federal government in London yesterday.
Team London for Youth's goal is to enhance employment opportunities for people aged 15-29. About 100 people attended a ceremony downtown, including Members of Parliament, students, youth and city officials.
Funded by Human Resources Development Canada, the project comes following the federal government's announcement on Feb. 12 that it will create 30,000 summer jobs for youth this year.
"In London it means great things for hundreds of young people," said Joe Fontana, Liberal MP for London East. He added this is the first enhanced student employment office in the country.
"I'm here to challenge the private sector," Fontana said. "We want the employers of this community to hire young people." He encouraged companies to give youth their first jobs and opportunities.
Dave Tompkins, president of the University Students' Council, said he has seen the frustration of students looking for jobs and was pleased with the new initiative. "We can use this as a springboard throughout Canada," he said.
"This is truly going to put the City of London on the national map," said London's mayor Dianne Haskett. If young people are thriving and finding opportunities it is a good indicator the city is doing well, she said.
The president of the Fanshawe Student Union said the project will not only help students make money to pay for their educations but will provide students with a chance to get a taste for a career. "A central facility will dramatically increase access for students who need it," Mark Brian said.
The pilot project has until the end of September to prove its worth, said Bill Irwin, program manager of the London Investment in Education Council. The hope is the program will continue year-round. The centre has a telephone number now which can be called and its website will be up and running by the end of March.
As well, a $100,000 awareness campaign will be launched this month to promote youth employment in the community.