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Updates in International Experience Canada and the UK's Yourth Mobility Scheme

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The Canadian and British governments have committed to providing their young citizens with enhanced work opportunities, aiming to maximize their potential. This commitment was formalized today with the announcement of a new Canada–United Kingdom Youth Mobility Arrangement. Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser, and UK Minister of State for Immigration Robert Jenrick confirmed the signing of the arrangement, which also saw participation from British High Commissioner to Canada, Susannah Goshko.

  • Canada and the UK have signed a new Youth Mobility Arrangement to enhance work opportunities for their youth, aiming to foster personal and professional growth.
  • The arrangement includes expanded age eligibility, additional work streams, and an extended stay duration, building on the partnership that began in 2008.
  • Set to start in 2024, this program will facilitate cultural exchanges and skill development through International Experience Canada (IEC) and the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme.

This arrangement is set to offer more extensive work opportunities to Canadian and British youth, enabling them to work in each other's countries for a longer duration under the International Experience Canada program and the UK's Youth Mobility Scheme. The agreement builds upon an existing partnership initiated in 2008 and introduces several enhancements including an increased age range for eligibility from 18-30 to 18-35 years, the addition of two new categories - International Co-op (Internship) and Young Professionals, and an extension of the maximum stay from two to three years. These changes are designed to encourage young people to explore new cultures and languages, thereby fostering the development of life skills and enhancing job prospects.

Both Canada and the UK expect to implement this new arrangement in 2024. According to Minister Sean Fraser, the UK is a favored destination for Canadian youth, and similarly, Canada is popular among UK youth participating in the IEC. He emphasizes that this new arrangement will make it easier for youth from both countries to work and travel abroad, taking advantage of the benefits of international mobility. Minister Robert Jenrick also highlights the close ties between the two nations and expresses enthusiasm for the expanded opportunities for young people to build skills and forge lasting connections.

The International Experience Canada program, a reciprocal initiative, allows youth from Canada and other nations to work and travel in each other's countries, with different categories catering to various needs. Canada has established youth mobility agreements with 37 countries and territories. For the 2023 season, the program will offer opportunities to nearly 90,000 international youths, helping Canadian employers alleviate labor shortages. Over 240,000 Canadians have benefited from IEC since 2008, gaining valuable experiences. Young individuals seeking assistance in planning their IEC experiences can turn to recognized organizations that provide support services.

In 2021, there were approximately 8.5 million people aged 18 to 35 in Canada, representing about a quarter of the Canadian population.