MONCTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant outlined economic initiatives designed to create an economy that works for young New Brunswickers during a presentation to the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce today.

“To grow our economy, we must create opportunities for youth employment,” said Gallant. “For too many years, too many of our loved ones have left our province for work. We need economic growth that helps keep our youth here.”

In the upcoming provincial budget, Gallant said the province will introduce investments to promote youth employment at a total annual cost of $25 million. These measures will include:

  • creating additional positions under the Youth Employment Fund targeted at experiential learning opportunities;
  • expanding summer employment opportunities for students by creating additional positions in the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program and by increasing the number of weeks for some positions under the program;
  • creating a paid internship program within government to hire new New Brunswick graduates to keep them in the province while reinvigorating the civil service;
  • introducing new measures for post-secondary education student loan debt avoidance; and
  • creating a comprehensive awareness and education campaign so high school students and youth better understand what are and will be the available jobs in New Brunswick's labour market and what financial support is in place to help them pursue post-secondary education.

These initiatives will add to programs already offered by the province, such as the Youth Employment Fund, One Job Pledge and Workforce Expansion program which are designed to help employers and employees meet their employment needs and reach those who need it most. These programs are intended to help retain youth and train New Brunswickers to help provide valuable work experience and develop a skilled workforce for the province's economy. In recent years, the province also introduced the Free Tuition Program and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class, non-repayable provincial bursaries designed to make post-secondary education more accessible through the provision of increased upfront financial assistance.

The recently-announced free child care for low-income families and subsidized child care for middle income families will also help young parents take advantage of employment and learning opportunities. This program, slated for March 2019, will provide free daycare for preschool-aged children (under the age of five) for families with a gross annual income of $37,500 and under, attending a New Brunswick Early Learning Centre, regardless of the location and fee charged by the operator. The program will ensure that families with larger incomes pay no more than 20 per cent of their gross income towards child care costs.

“With our multi-year economic growth plan, your government is investing in programs and opportunities that ensure all New Brunswickers can move forward together,” said Gallant.