Green summer jobs for Canadian youth

Tamar Atik
April 03, 2018
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April 3, 2018 - Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) will be placing 1,600 youth in green jobs through partnerships with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Canadian Parks Council (CPC).

PLT Canada has received approximately $11 million in funding from the Canadian federal government to provide the youth with jobs in the summers of 2018 and 2019.

“We’re just trying to give youth some professional experience so that they might consider a green job in the future, and hopefully this is just one step in the right direction to be a sustainable leader in the future,” Jessica Kaknevicius, PLT Canada’s project lead on the Green Jobs Initiative tells CFI.

Kaknevicius, who also got introduced to forestry through tree-planting in her youth says the passion of the people who work in the sector is what drew her in, combined with being given the chance to explore.

“I wasn’t really an outdoors person growing up; I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of nature, but it was because of being given opportunities in green jobs that I ended up pursuing a career in it,” she says. “I think everyone’s dedicated and committed and really loves their job, and that’s something that’s contagious and something that has inspired me to continue in this field.”

Kaknevicius encourages interested youth to spend time interacting with those who are working in the field to find out about opportunities that are available. At the end of April, PLT Canada will have a website available with job postings for positions in the program that haven’t been filled yet.

Kaknevicius says the goal is to grow forest and conservation leaders by providing students with opportunities and careers in conservation and forest management across the country, as well as provide wage-matching to employers to provide more opportunities for youth to enter into green jobs.

Eligible organizations can access the federal funding for a 50 per cent wage-match. Working periods run from May through August and must be for a minimum of eight weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks. Canadian youth aged 15–30 are eligible and must be registered students returning to school, either secondary or post-secondary, according to PLT Canada.

The forest sector is being encouraged to participate by applying for green jobs that are applicable in different organizations.

“We’ve had lots of organizations across Canada already apply for funding to support positions like silvicultural technicians, forest technicians, wildlife researchers, so there are lots of opportunities for the forest sector that can be supported by this wage-matching program,” Kaknevicius says. “That’s the benefit of working with Project Learning Tree Canada and through SFI is that we’re really reaching out to our network members to provide this opportunity.”

Employers can find out if they’re eligible on PLT Canada’s website at pltcanada.org.

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