The Manitoba government will provide more than $25 million that will support more than 8,000 youth employment opportunities this summer through the new Manitoba Youth Jobs Program and existing Green Team grants, Premier Brian Pallister and Municipal Relations Minister Derek Johnson announced today.
“Our government is working to protect Manitoba’s youth from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, as they have been hit particularly hard and face unemployment rates of nearly double the rest of the population,” said Pallister. “Our new wage subsidy program will directly contribute to our government’s growth and jobs agenda outlined in Budget 2021 by supporting our businesses and organizations that will be the drivers of Manitoba’s economic recovery.”
The new $15-million Manitoba Youth Jobs Program will provide employers a 50 per cent subsidy on wages paid to eligible employees during the program period of May to September 2021, with a maximum of up to $25,000 per employer. The premier said he anticipates the program will support more than 2,000 Manitoba employers recover from the pandemic and create sustainable long-term, seasonal and short-term employment opportunities for more than 6,000 Manitoba youth.
The Manitoba Youth Jobs Program builds upon and streamlines the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs and Back to Work This Summer programs, which helped create and sustain more than 6,000 jobs for young Manitobans in 2020. The new program:
• gets money to businesses faster, as employers will be eligible to apply for an advance payment of up to $750 per eligible employee, up to $7,500;
• broadens eligibility criteria to include all Manitoba youth under the age of 30;
• allows employers to claim employees hired as early as April 1, 2021;
• aligns the program’s eligible wage subsidy period to the employer’s own pay schedule to cover full pay periods between May 1 and Sept. 5; and
• provides a 50 per cent wage subsidy on all regular, overtime and statutory wages earned during the 18-week period as opposed to a flat per-hour wage subsidy.
The province is also investing more than $10 million in Green Team grant programs to help an estimated 2,000 young Manitobans find summer employment and gain valuable work experience. This includes nearly $9 million for the Urban and Hometown Green Team Program and more than $1 million for the Manitoba Parks Green Team.
“These have been challenging times and now more than ever, we need to support local projects and give our youth the work experience they need to take advantage of future career opportunities,” said Johnson. “We also recognize the critical role of Manitoba’s community-based organizations as they help shape sustainable and thriving neighbourhoods and communities.”
Urban and Hometown Green Team grants allow communities to hire youth aged 15 to 29 to work on community projects between May 1 and Sept. 30. Non-profit organizations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba are eligible to receive 100 per cent of wage costs and $250 per position for support costs, while eligible municipal governments in rural Manitoba receive 50 per cent of wage costs and $125 per position for support costs, on a cost-shared basis.
Johnson noted priorities for the 2021 summer season are focused on community-based organizations and municipal governments that can offer full-time employment opportunities for youth, and projects that support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
The province is maintaining its 2020 funding level for Green Teams, which had doubled from 2019 to stimulate youth job creation during the pandemic, to meet significant program demand. At the Feb. 15 application intake deadline for the Urban and Hometown Green Team Program, the province had received record funding requests. The province has completed its review of project applications and will begin to notify applicants of funding decisions today.
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