Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program Declared a SUCCESS!

Submitted 6 years ago by Dan Trepanier 

Since 2000, The Federal Public Sector Youth Internship program has placed well over 12,000 underserved young adults ages 15-30 in paid internships across Canada. This includes a participating percentage of aboriginal people, visible minorities and non-grads that is significantly higher than national averages.


Common Ground for Uncommon Stories

Our reach extends to every Province and Territory, with placements in nearly 800 Canadian cities, towns and villages; while serving more than 90 Ministries, Crown Corporations and Agencies. In our decade-plus history, the vast majority of participants completing the program have either found gainful employment, returned to school, or both.

And of the participants that left the program early? A vast majority of interns who left the program before completion did so because they found work or returned to school; using the experience-in-progress as a springboard to immediate opportunity. Over the life of the program, greater than 85% of all participating interns have improved their station in life.

In the process, they’ve overcome many traditional barriers to success, including a lack of education, visible minority status, social and personal disadvantages, even poverty.
That’s social impact. That’s increasing capacity. That’s building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.
That’s Federal Government Internships in partnership with the YMCA.


Since 2007, we’ve doubled the number of Mentor applications received, as well as doubled the number of internships filled by FPSYIP. That means twice the number of opportunities for twice as many young people in the various regions served by the YMCA.

However it’s a vast country with an underserved population of disadvantaged, undereducated or misdirected youth that are full of potential but who lack the opportunity to develop and nurture their talent. 

What Is The Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program? Sponsored by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and delivered in partnership with the YMCA, the Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program places interns in host federal government organizations. Its main objective is to enable unemployed or under-employed young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 to acquire the experience and skills they need to enter and fully participate in the labour market.

An internship is not a specific position, and the intern does not replace a federal employee. An internship is a flexible, practical assignment, geared to providing a young person with meaningful opportunities to develop employability skills in preparation for subsequent employment or self-employment at the end of the internship. The concept of internship implies structured learning experiences and coaching by a Mentor.

Mentoring Is A Key Feature Of The Program. Each internship must have an identified Mentor who will assist the intern in acquiring knowledge and skills, as well as visualising career goals and ways to reach them.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ensures that the Program benefits the groups of young people who need it most. Not surprisingly, this is the group with the highest unemployment rate. This includes youth who have not completed high school or face multiple barriers of employment, as well as high school graduates and young people who have graduated from College or University.

Why FPSYIP? The rate of unemployment for our young people is almost double that of other age groups in Canada. Not because they don’t have the motivation, the ambition or the energy: the real barriers facing unemployed young people are inexperience and a lack of specific employment skills.

Without experience and without relevant skills, and especially if they left high school without graduating, many young people have little chance of getting and holding a job. But that cycle of job, no experience, no experience, no job” can be broken with your contribution.

Learn More. Do More. Be More. Recently, the federal government completed the first wave of its strategic review of all their funded programs. In July 2011 we learned that while FPSYIP has been declared a big success, the government believes that it has met all of its objectives and accordingly, the program will begin a wind-down process, with a final program closure date of March 2013.

The federal government representatives who shared this information with us emphasized how valuable a partner the YMCA in Canada has proven to be in delivering effective, efficient, and successful programming. They are most impressed with the outcomes of the FPSYIP program, noting that it is one of the longest-running employment program funding contracts they have ever had. The 20-month notification period represents just how important the federal government perceives the longstanding partnership with the YMCA, and a great respect for our staff members.

Our ability to deliver this program so successfully directly impacted the federal government’s decision to partner with the YMCA to offer two short-term youth internship programs focused on the environmental and non-profit sectors in 2009 and 2010.