| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation & Job News

Ontario's new budget: $295 million for youth employment, innovation and entrepreneurship

Last week the provincial government unveiled its draft budget for the year. A key highlight of that budget: $295 million over two years dedicated to boost youth employment and support initiatives in youth innovation and entrepreneurship.

The budget, which still needs to be passed in the Legislature, includes money for four separate initiatives:

An Ontario Youth Employment Fund, which comprises the bulk of the money: $195 million over two years. The province is proposing to offer incentives to employers to hire young people. Those incentives might include anything from wage subsidies for young workers as they receive training to help with purchasing tools and equipment when jobs require those. It's estimated this will create opportunities for up to 25,000 young Ontarians.

A Youth Entrepreneurship Fund to help support young entrepreneurs as they try to get new enterprises off the ground. This fund is for $45 million over two years, and is projected to created opportunities for 6,000 residents. Among the initiatives included here are mentorship help (matching young entrepreneurs with more experienced businesspeople who can coach them through launch); seed-stage financing (through small loans and grants, and administered through accelerator hubs); and high school outreach specifically for high school students with entrepreneurial interests.

A Youth Innovation Fund, which includes $10 million over two years to support commercialization specifically for post-doctoral fellows working in relevant industrial research areas. This fund also includes another $20 million for on-campus accelerators, including Ryerson's Digital Media Zone and U of T's Impact Centre.

A Business-Labour Connectivity and Training Fund: $25 million over two years, this fund would support pilot programs that help business identify and develop young talent.

The minority Liberal government will need the backing of the NDP in order to pass this budget. Supporting youth employment is part of the New Democrats' platform as well, and they aren't expected to challenge this portion of the budget as negotiations proceed.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts