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PLT Tree Canada to place 500 more youth in Green Jobs


December 18, 2019
By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Will Vukovic, PLT Canada Green Jobs youth with Mosaic Forest Management, an SFI-certified organization.

Youth across Canada will be better supported to enter the workforce in 2020 and in following years thanks to tremendous growth at a small but mighty non-profit called Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada).

Thanks in part to funding by the Government of Canada and employers across the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Canadian Parks Council (CPC) networks, PLT Canada – which is an initiative of SFI – has placed over 2,000 youth into Green Jobs since 2018. The organization has managed to achieve gender balance in its job placements and connect more than ten percent of its positions to Indigenous youth.

Further investments from the government of Canada will enable PLT Canada to provide value-added services – especially for rural youth, new Canadians, and Indigenous youth. These new support services, such as mentorship and guidance counselling, will not only help youth enter the workforce, but also help them thrive within it and continue to grow over the course of their careers. These are objectives that PLT Canada shares with the government. The increased funding will also allow the non-profit to place 500 more youth into Green Jobs between now and October 2020.

“Thanks to Project Learning Tree Canada, more young Canadians have access to meaningful work experience in the green jobs sector,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion. “Giving young people – especially those facing barriers – a strong head start toward a career is what the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy is all about. We are pleased to partner with and support this organization.”

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There has never been a more important time for the development of Canada’s forest workforce. Climate change requires a global shift towards more sustainable choices. Using paper straws and mass timber, which stores carbon for large-scale building projects are just two unique examples of the types of choices we can make to address global challenges like ocean plastics and climate change. However, when choosing renewable forest-based solutions it is critical that the products come from sustainably managed forests, which is the assurance that forest certification provides.

“Thankfully, we are a world leader in sustainable forest management and responsible procurement of forest products,” said Kathy Abusow, PLT Canada president and CEO. “Over 200 employers, all linked to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Canadian Parks Council networks, have enabled youth across the country to gain meaningful work experiences in the great outdoors.”

PLT Canada expects to accomplish many great things again in 2020 as it expands its programming and welcomes back thousands of youth from across Canada. “We’re looking forward to helping even more young people navigate green career pathways, thanks to our new services and increased funding,” said Abusow. “We’re incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada and our employer partners across the country for their incredible support and commitment to growing the next generation of forest and conservation leaders.”