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Ontario Launches New Youth Employment Program

News Release

Ontario Launches New Youth Employment Program

Province Connects At-Risk Youth with Jobs

Ontario is launching the Youth Job Connection program to provide intensive support and training to young people with multiple barriers to employment.

The province will invest more than $160 million over two years to help over 27,000 young people get the skills and training they need to build a better future.

Starting in October, the first part of the program will provide paid pre-employment training, job opportunities and mentorship to youth aged 15 to 29 who are currently not working, not in school, or not enrolled in a training program. This part of the program will focus on youth who face complex and multiple barriers to employment including poverty, homelessness, disability and mental health.  

The second part of the program will provide summer, part-time and after-school job opportunities to high school students between ages 15 and 18 who are facing challenging life circumstances and who may need support transitioning between school and work.  After-school opportunities will be available this October, with summer opportunities available in spring 2016.

Helping youth who experience complex barriers to employment find and keep jobs is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up by making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, investing in people's talents and skills, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Youth Job Connection program will support Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy by helping vulnerable youth access employment and move towards income security.
  • The Youth Job Connection program is also part of the renewed Youth Jobs Strategy. Ontario is investing $250 million over the next two years to serve up to 150,000 more youth, through Youth Job Connection and other programs.
  • Youth Job Connection builds on the successful Youth Employment Fund, which surpassed its two-year target of helping 25,000 youth. It also uses best practices adapted from the Jobs for Youth program.
  • Youth can now access online support through Employment Ontario Live Chat.
  • There are more than 30 government programs to help youth build skills, find a job or start a business.

Additional Resources


Reza Moridi

“Our government is dedicated to helping young people of all abilities and backgrounds succeed in the labour market. That’s why our Youth Job Connection will offer intensive, specialized support to youth who face the greatest challenges finding a place in Ontario’s workforce. Through this, and our renewed Youth Jobs Strategy, we are making sure Ontario’s economy can benefit from the skills and talent of all our young people.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

Tracy MacCharles

“When youth have access to the right supports and opportunities, they can make positive choices and reach their full potential. Now, even more of Ontario’s youth facing barriers to employment will be offered the services and supports they need to transition into meaningful employment and to succeed in the labour market.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister of Children and Youth Services

Deb Matthews

“We know that employment is the way out of poverty and the path to a secure future, especially for young people. This program will help provide new opportunities for them to discover what they’re good at and show employers what they can do. Giving young people the supports they need to realize their full potential is an important part of our Poverty Reduction Strategy.”

Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board, and Minster Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

Media Contacts



Education and Training Jobs and Employment Children and Youth Parents Poverty Reduction