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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
May 26, 2008

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Student Summer Employment Programs Under Way in Province

I rise today to inform my honourable colleagues of this governmentís commitment to student summer employment in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Provincial Government supports two major student summer employment programs. These are the Student Work and Service Program (SWASP) and the Level I, II and III Student Employment Program. In 2008-09, a total of $2.5 million is being invested in these programs.

A student summer job is often a young personís first exposure to the labour market. It is a great way to establish good life-long work habits and to understand the value of earning a living.

The Level I, II and III Student Employment Program helps high school students secure work with not-for-profit organizations, community agencies, and municipalities in summer recreation, heritage and community improvement projects. Projects provide for three to eight weeks of paid employment at no direct cost to the organization. This year we anticipate that the Level I, II and III Student Employment Program will support approximately 480 projects and employ over 600 high school students.

SWASP provides a sponsoring employer with a wage subsidy of $4 per hour. In return, the employer is required to hire the student for a minimum of 25 to a maximum of 40 hours of work each week. Under the program, the student can work a minimum of five to a maximum of 14 weeks.

SWASP assists individuals currently attending or who plan to go to a post-secondary institution in the up-coming academic year. It is available to both for-profit and not-for-profit employers. This year SWASP will enable 1,200 post-secondary students to be matched to employers and secure a meaningful summer job.

In addition to the SWASP wage subsidy, the student also receives a $50 per week tuition voucher. For example, if a student works a maximum of 14 weeks then $700 is provided to help reduce the overall cost of their tuition. This is a great way to both gain work experience and save for school.

In Budget 2008, $1.38 million is being invested to develop a comprehensive Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy to encourage young people to stay, live and work in the province. We are moving forward with this initiative as it will complement other youth services such as the student summer employment programs, the graduate employment program, the Community Youth Network, and grants to youth-serving agencies. Government is firmly committed to engaging and supporting our young people because when they succeed everyone in the province benefits.

I encourage our students to be safe on the job this summer, to gain new experiences, to learn news skills and to make sure they enjoy themselves.

2008 05 26                                                    1:40 p.m.


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