October 13, 2015

What are the parties saying? Youth Employment

Students need to know they have a path towards a good job in their field after graduation. Unfortunately, the youth unemployment rate still remains double the national average.What’s more is that if part-time employees seeking full-time jobs, exploited unpaid interns, and discouraged young Canadians are taken into account, the youth un/underemployment rate is 27.7%.

Also, 23 % of post-secondary graduates are not working in their field of study. Not only do these graduates experience greater difficulties in finding opportunities to network and gain experience in their fields of study, but their income levels tend to be 25% less than those who find employment in their field.

Combine this with the fact that the average student graduates with over $28,000 in debt and it’s clear we need a change from the status quo. That’s why the Canadian Federation of Students is asking for political leaders to bring about the following:

  • Double the annual investment in the Youth Employment Strategy and ensure program effectiveness through business and union cooperation.
  • End unpaid internships.
  • Create $15 an hour as minimum wage.

The federal parties have promised the following, if elected:

Liberal Party of Canada

  • Invest $1.3 billion over three years to create 40,000 youth jobs each year.
  • Waive EI premiums for new full-time youth hires for three years.
  • Create science, technology, engineering, math and business co-ops and youth employment through community building projects.

New Democratic Party

  • Invest $200 million over four years to create 40,000 youth jobs.
  • Create a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.
  • Require the hiring of apprentices on federal infrastructure projects receiving $10 million.
  • Set aside  more funding for apprenticeships and crack down on unpaid internships.

Conservative Party of Canada

  • Reallocate $15 million per year within the Youth Employment Strategy to support up to 1,000 internships at small or medium-sized enterprises.
  • Invest $7 million over two years to support relocation of youth and immigrants to areas where jobs exist.
  • Create basic occupational health and safety protections for interns and clarify situations in which unpaid internships are permitted.

Green Party of Canada

  • Create 40,000 youth jobs per year by investing $1 billion to complete municipal projects through a National Community and Environment Service Corps.
  • Ban unpaid internships and increase access to apprentice programs.


Here is how the parties’ platforms stack up against one another, based on what students have asked for. Not happy? There’s still time to demand better.  Contact your candidates now.

Remember, political parties respond to public pressure. You can help the cause of students across the country by telling the candidates in your riding that you’ll support individuals who will make youth employment a priority.

Visit action.cfs-fcee.ca to learn who your candidates are and access tools that make it easy to tell them what you think about youth employment in Canada and what changes you would like to see.

Finally, parties respond to voters. By voting this election, you can help show the political parties that youth cannot be ignored any longer. Visit the Elections Canada student page for information on how and where to vote.

Together, we can vote for better prospects for students and a brighter future for our country.