Executive Council
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
November 14, 2008

Youth Gather with Stakeholders to Discuss Future

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is entering into a new stage in the development of a provincial Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy. A provincial youth summit will be held November 14-15 in St. John�s where 160 young adults aged 18-30 will discuss making Newfoundland and Labrador the province of choice for young people to live and work.

"More than ever, Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where our youth can fulfill their career aspirations and build secure futures," said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. "With our recent economic successes and new developments on the horizon, our young people have tremendous opportunities in front of them. However, we recognize that we live in a global, competitive environment; so we want to ensure as a government that we are listening to our youth. We must work with them and ensure our policies and strategies reflect their opinions as we plan for the future. Our Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy will achieve this goal."

Summit participants were randomly recruited from the 13 deliberative dialogue sessions that were held across Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Ontario. About 40 decision-makers from the community, public and private sectors have also been invited to be a part of the discussion at a session Saturday afternoon.

"A cross-section of people have been invited to hear first-hand what choices and trade offs youth consider when deciding their futures and work," said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. "These decision-makers will have a better understanding of what young adults want in a career and in their lifestyles. They will also hear what role they may play in moving the vision of these young adults forward."

Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) is organizing the summit on behalf of the Provincial Government. It is part of a deliberative dialogue process in which participants can discuss critical issues facing their province and identify ways to move forward in a neutral environment.

"Through the dialogues, participants identified a set of values and principles that they consider critical to their future in Newfoundland and Labrador and the basis of actions they want their government and other leaders to take," said Dr. Sharon Manson-Singer, CPRN President. "During the summit, participants will build on the work started in the dialogues and define practical ideas and solutions on youth retention and attraction."

The summit is not open to the public, however, the Provincial Government will announce details of a website and discussion paper in which the public can access and submit their opinions.

"It is important that we hear from as many people as possible," said Minister Sullivan. "The dialogue sessions provide a solid research base but we know others have opinions and ideas to share that will help inform government as we make plans for the future."

The Provincial Government has committed $1.38 million to develop a Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy. The strategy will be an important component in strengthening the labour market and countering the impact of youth out-migration.

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Roger Scaplen
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903

2008 11 14                                                    1:00 p.m.

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