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Government of Canada has pre-budget consultations with CIPS' Youth

On February 14th CIPS’ youth were invited to take part in pre-budget consultations being held by the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development. The meeting took the form of an informal conference call and was led by Dr. Kellie Leitch, O. Ont, MD, MBA, FRCS(C), who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.  CIPS’ youth comprised of current students and recent graduates under the age of 30.

Dr. Leitch was looking for input from the CIPS’ youth on what the Government is currently doing right, and what they can improve upon with respect to skills development programs.  Dr. Leitch asked participants what critical items affected them from entering the workforce, and what barriers and challenges they encountered. Responses from CIPS’ youth included making it easier for students from lower income families to get student loans, providing cheaper learning material options like e-books, and the need for more paying IT internships.

Dr. Leitch asked how the students felt about job prospects, and overall students felt positive, however some participants from the east coast expressed being concerned about having to move outside their province to find a job, and that there is a large turnover in IT.

When participants were asked whether they found an increase in job placements or skill training programs to be more valuable, the consensus was that they valued the job placements much more, as getting jobs with no real world practical experience is extremely difficult. Obtaining experience as a student through internships was therefore particularly valuable. Dr. Leitch noted that the government has a youth employment strategy that includes summer jobs, skills/trades, and career focus program.

Dr. Leitch asked participants their thoughts on how successful Canada will be in the next 5 years and what the booming sectors will be. Some said they didn’t see much change from today, while others noted a shift to cleaner energy. Other comments included continued growth in the information sector, and growth in health care in IT due to the aging population. Foreign investment in Canada was also mentioned to be very important.

Dr. Leitch closed the call by encouraging CIPS’ youth to reach out to her at any time with their ideas and comments.

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