Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
December 5, 2008

Program Aimed at Young Francophones

The Provincial Government is providing Le Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE TNL) with a $19,250 investment aimed at reinforcing francophone culture with youth. The initiative titled Place aux Jeunes Newfoundland and Labrador (PAJTNL) promotes social and economic activities in French, particularly in the employment sector, and encourages youth to return to the Port au Port Peninsula upon completion of their post-secondary studies.

"The Provincial Government is focused on creating strong rural communities and an entrepreneurial culture," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "Through this initiative we are hoping to empower young francophones to explore and rediscover their rural heritage, develop networks and contacts with socio-economic stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and potential employers, and prepare for a future on the Port au Port Peninsula."

"Our francophone youth bring a unique perspective and skill set to our province," said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. "Our government is committed to ensuring the retention of francophone youth and providing these young people with the supports they need to enable a meaningful transition to the labour market."

Delivered in partnership with the Government of Quebec, the Place aux Jeunes (Make Way for Youth) model is also currently being used in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Yukon. The local project is part of a process with an overall objective to ensure the retention and establishment of youth in rural francophone and Acadian communities by facilitating exchanges, co-operation and linkages between these communities and various regions in Quebec.

"I am extremely pleased that the Provincial Government is able to support this project," said Tony Cornect, MHA, Port au Port. "Recruiting young francophones to the Port au Port Peninsula is an important step in developing a highly-skilled workforce, and ultimately strengthening the area’s business community."

With its three years experience in developing the model, Place aux Jeunes Quebec (PAJQ) will partner with RDÉE TNL to implement the initiative. The project involves support for RDÉE TNL in its efforts to retain and recruit youth with PAJQ advisory services and ensuring adequate transfer of expertise.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903

2008 12 05                                                    11:45 a.m.

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