New arrangement expands work opportunities for Canadian and British youth
July 14, 2023—Wallace, Nova Scotia—The governments of Canada and the United Kingdom are committed to providing Canadian and British youth with work opportunities that will empower them to achieve their full potential.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the Right Honourable Robert Jenrick, UK Minister of State for Immigration, announced the signing of a new Canada–United Kingdom (UK) Youth Mobility Arrangement. The arrangement was signed by Minister Fraser and Her Excellency Susannah Goshko, British High Commissioner to Canada.
Under this arrangement, more Canadian and British youth will benefit from reciprocal work opportunities in each other’s country for a longer period of time through International Experience Canada (IEC) and the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme.
The new arrangement builds on an existing youth mobility partnership that began in 2008 and includes a number of improvements:
- The eligibility age will expand from 18 to 30 to 18 to 35.
- Two new streams—International Co-op (Internship) and Young Professionals—will be added to complement the existing Working Holiday category for UK nationals visiting Canada.
- The total period that participants will be able to stay will increase from 2 to 3 years.
International youth mobility helps young people explore new cultures, languages and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.
Canada and the UK anticipate implementing the new arrangement in 2024.
“The UK is one of the most popular countries for Canadian youth working and travelling abroad. Canada is equally a top destination for UK youth participating in IEC. This new arrangement makes it more accessible for Canadian and British youth to work and travel in each other’s country, while enjoying the benefits of international youth mobility. I encourage youth from both countries to embrace the opportunities this program offers and explore new cultures, learn new skills and gain international experience and perspectives.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“As close Commonwealth partners, the ties between the UK and Canada are historic and deep. We are proud to welcome so many Canadians to the UK under the Youth Mobility scheme, while thousands of Brits have similarly benefited from the opportunity overseas.
“The expansion opens up opportunities for even more young people to make lasting connections, build their skills and use the experience to contribute both to their host country and once they return home.”
– The Right Honourable Robert Jenrick, Minister of State for Immigration
International Experience Canada (IEC) is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s country. The program has three categories:
- Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professional participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.
Canada has signed youth mobility agreements or arrangements with 37 countries and foreign territories.
For the 2023 season, Canada is extending this opportunity to nearly 90,000 international youth from partner countries and territories. This expansion will help Canadian employers find the workers they need to ease labour shortages across the country.
More than 240,000 Canadians have participated in IEC since 2008, and many have returned to Canada with life-changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives.
Youth who need help planning their IEC experience may consider using a recognized organization, which are typically youth service organizations that offer work and travel support. They can be non-profit, for profit or educational, and may charge fees for their services.
There were 8.5 million people between the ages of 18 and 35 in Canada in 2021, accounting for nearly one in four Canadians.
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Source URL: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2023/07/new-arrangement-expands-work-opportunities-for-canadian-and-british-youth0.html
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