The Youth Initiative is a collaborative partnership project with the CEDEC Magdalen Islands Office and CAMI and began in 2007-2008 with funding from Service Canada, within the Skills Link Program. Within this program, several study methods were carried out in order to obtain the information needed to identify and evaluate the needs of English speaking youth on the Islands. It is highlighted in this study that because the English-speaking population on the islands makes up only 6% of the total Island population, it is more difficult for English speaking youth to obtain employment or training in their own language.
It is also indicated, based on the youth needs assessment, English speaking youth feel that language is the greatest barrier they face in finding suitable employment, as well as not knowing where to access employment services. In 2009, CEDEC Magdalen Islands Office and CAMI established a partnership with CASA (Committee for Anglophone Social Action) and the CEDEC Gaspésie Office to undertake a regional approach to address the issues of youth exodus and employability. Information sessions are on-going, as well as several activities sensitizing and creating awareness of the services available in the region, encouraging youth participation within these programs.
The goal of this initiative is to create a portrait of the English-speaking youth’s reality on the Islands by documenting their strengths, challenges and interests, with a particular focus on the areas of employment and economic development. As well, it is a goal to inform the entire population of the presence of a dynamic Anglophone youth population and the youth’s desire and capacity to contribute to the economy. Also addressed is the issue of the youth exodus from the English-speaking community by actively engaging youth to participate within the community through volunteerism and the promotion of entrepreneurship, allowing them to see future opportunities in the area.
Our goal within this initiative is to address the issue of youth exodus within the English-speaking community by:
- working in collaboration with its partners in order to expand the educational opportunities of English-speaking youth
- promoting second language courses and mentoring programs for English-speaking youth
- working with English-speaking schools to promote entrepreneurship and other careers.
- promoting the Magdalen Islands’ lifestyle to all generations
- becoming a link with youth service providers and implementing projects in which ES youth can benefit