FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is committed to renewing the Youth Employment Fund, which will help 1,500 young people acquire work placements for 2016-17.

Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement today during a tour of the Fredericton Boys and Girls Club where two young New Brunswickers have accepted work placements through the fund.

“We need to give our youth as many job opportunities as possible,” said Gallant. “We must also provide them with the right education and on-the-job training. These 1,500 placements will help our youth gain valuable work experience and help develop a skilled workforce for our economy.”

Since its official launch in March 2015, the fund has resulted in placements for 1,482 young people.

Under the Education and New Economy Fund, $11.7 million have been allocated to the Youth Employment Fund for 2016-17.

“It is essential that we equip New Brunswickers with the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to gain and retain employment here at home,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry. “Our government is committed to taking steps to close the workforce gaps, and to building a skilled workforce that enables businesses to effectively establish, operate and grow in our province.”

The Youth Employment Fund is designed to provide unemployed youth aged 18-29 with an opportunity to develop skills. It provides an entry point to long-term employment for individuals who require experience as identified through their employment action plan.

Youth and employers are invited to submit their applications online.