The Ontario Library Association will administer the Digital Skills for Youth program for libraries across Canada. The program is funded by Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada.
Digital Skills for Youth (DS4Y) connects underemployed recent post-secondary graduates with small businesses and not-for-profit organizations where they can gain meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment.
The DS4Y program will combine valuable work experience and training related to digital skills for underemployed recent post-secondary graduates so that they can successfully transition to the labour market.
DS4Y is delivered under the Career Focus (CF) stream of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES). Under the YES, employers can apply for funding to offer employment opportunities to young people. The YES helps youth acquire the work experience, knowledge, skills, and information they need to make a successful transition into the workplace or to pursue advanced studies.
The Government of Canada has developed DS4Y to help recent underemployed post-secondary graduates enhance and develop digital and soft skills through work and training.
DS4Y will create employment opportunities, specifically related to digital skills development, for underemployed youth so that they can improve their employability and receive information they need to make a successful transition into the workplace. Additionally, it will provide training opportunities related to digital and soft skills allowing youth to apply new skills and knowledge during their internship.
Program participants will be able to use the skills acquired during their studies and apply them in a professional setting. Moreover, they will be able to upskill if required to better meet the demands of the labour market.
The overall objective of the Career Focus Stream is to increase the supply of highly qualified people, to promote the benefits of advanced studies, to demonstrate federal leadership by investing in the skills required to meet the needs of the knowledge-based economy and facilitate the transition of highly skilled young people to a rapidly changing labour market. DS4Y will contribute to increasing the employability of youth in Canada so that they can succeed in the digital economy.
To this end, the program will:
- Support the underemployed recent post-secondary graduates (participants) in finding work opportunities that will provide them with the experience to find career-oriented employment.
- Through course-based training and work opportunities, it is important to provide participants with new or enhanced digital skills and knowledge and give them an opportunity to learn how to apply them, in combination with business and entrepreneurial skills, communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills. Providing participants with these soft skills will help them succeed in the competitive labour market.
- Leverage employers’ contribution to youth salaries and benefits ensuring that youth are meaningfully engaged and can benefit from their work experience.
This program also supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan (ISP), by ensuring that all Canadians have the opportunity to participate and thrive in the new digital economy.