Human Resources, Labour and Employment
December 15, 2008

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

Development of a Provincial Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy Moving Forward

I rise today to inform this honourable house of the important steps the Provincial Government is taking to develop a Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador. Government is working in partnership with youth, the public and other key stakeholders throughout the province. We are committed to this exciting new initiative which is a critical step towards ensuring all Newfoundland and Labradorians, especially our youth, are prepared to take advantage of the significant opportunities that lie ahead and benefit from the province’s growing prosperity.

The development of the Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy will help to position Newfoundland and Labrador as a province of choice for young adults to live and work, including those living in the province, Canada and other areas of the world. The strategy will help ensure the province retains and attracts a diverse, educated and engaged population of young adults and families it needs to secure a sustainable and prosperous future.

Government recognizes that the success of the strategy must reflect the values, priorities and perspectives of young adults from the province. We have established a diverse 19-member Youth Advisory Panel and had the Canadian Policy Research Networks undertake an extensive youth engagement process to help us achieve these objectives. They met with 484 youth from across the province and in Ontario and Alberta this fall in a series of 13 deliberative dialogue sessions. This culminated with a highly successful Provincial Youth Summit on November 14 and 15 where approximately 140 of these youth came together to share their views and recommendations on youth retention and attraction with key stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Government also recognizes that the success of the Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy depends on the ideas and contributions of all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as partners in the government, business, labour, education, not-for-profit and community sectors throughout the province. We recently launched a new website focused on the strategy to help achieve this goal. The website provides background information and an opportunity for all members of the public to submit their views and recommendations throughout the month of December.

Our departmental staff will be analyzing all feedback we receive. This information will play an important role in supporting the strategy development. The final strategy will be developed and released after this process is complete and we receive final recommendations from the CPRN.

2008 12 15                                                    1:55 p.m.

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