Today, in Question Period, NDP MPP Michael Mantha called on the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to address the issue of drastic cuts made to the Jobs for Youth program that provides at-risk youth employment opportunities in the Manitoulin and LaCloche areas.
“In August, the District Services Board received word from your Ministry that funding would be drastically cut. What, if anything, is your Ministry doing to help unemployed and disadvantaged youth find work in northern communities?” Mantha asked.
Funding to the Jobs for Youth program has been cut by 83 per cent since its inception. The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board and its 18 member municipalities sent a letter to the Premier stating the “need to understand how the Ministry can reduce the number of youth placements from 111 to 19.” The program provided youth aged 15-18 with the equivalent of eight weeks of full-time work with local employers before funding was cut.
“The allocation for Manitoulin and LaCloche is now for seven youths, a reduction from 58, or an 88 percent cut in placements.”
“Minister, don’t leave these youth behind. When will you meet with them?” Mantha asked.