Programs and services for Manitoban youth

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There are many programs specially designed for youth in Manitoba to help develop their skills, assist in their family, health, or educational needs, and provide many avenues for recreation and growth. Many of these are government-sponsored or led by not-for-profit, community-based, or charity organizations. The support services encourage them to use their time and energy in productive endeavors.

Youth development programs

  • Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program – This site lists down a range of services from Entrepreneurship Manitoba to support young Aboriginal entrepreneurs.
  • Young Entrepreneurs Program – this program offers a grant to cover business start-up costs and capital expenditures for young people interested in starting a full-time, viable business.
  • After School Leaders – This is a program for kids in inner-city high schools in Winnipeg to explore their interest in a career in the arts, science, technology, sports, and communication.
  • Bright Futures Program –Provides program funding for community-based organizations for projects such as career exploration programs (Career Trek and Panam) and others that keep children in school.
  • Volunteers in Public Service – Enables individuals to gain job experience through placement in career-related positions within provincial government departments and agencies on a volunteer capacity.
  • Newcomer Employment and Education Development Services

  • (NEEDS) – This Settlement Provider Organization (SPO) offers programs designed specifically for newcomer youth. It has a Youth Mentorship program that has workshops, recreational activities and individual mentorship to teach kids life skills and prevent them from being involved in criminal activities. It also has Employment Skills Training to prepare high school students when they enter the world of work; Introduction to Canadian Education which prepares them for their new school, and the Youth After School Program which has educational, recreational, skills development, and English language building components. (Other SPOs with youth programs are listed in the Community Resources section below).
  • Manitoba Cooperative Association – Offers a Youth Leadership Retreat, Student Cooperative Program, and other youth supports.
  • ACI Manitoba Youth Mentorship Programs – Youth interested in careers in the arts and culture learn from professionals through group workshops, individual consultation, volunteer work experience and participation in career development workshops.
  • Manitoba Youth Volunteer Opportunities – Learn about local and global volunteer opportunities on this site, as well as guidance on how to start volunteering and other resources for the youth.

After-school programs

  • The Peaceful Village – This is facilitated by Manitoba School Improvement Program (MSIP) for newcomer youth and their families. The program operates Monday to Friday for three hours a day providing students with academic support, learning materials, snacks, and other activities. There also offer optional activities for students during PD days and school breaks. They operate during the summer to provide activities and opportunities in activity based learning over the break.
  • YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg – The organization’s Youth drop-in programs offer a safe environment where young people to play, socialize and interact with other children after school.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg – Has a host of educational, sports and recreational programs, as well as skills and values-building activities.
  • Brandon Youth Centre – Summer programs are offered at its Youth Activity Centre include healthy recreational activities such as sports, dance, arts and culture, and others; the KC Skate Plaza in downtown Brandon is open to everyone, especially the youth to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle; and the Lighthouses After School Program has pro-social, recreational, and crime prevention activities.

Employment and Training opportunities

Based on Manitoba Employment standards:

  • children under 12 years old are allowed to work only in exceptional circumstances
  • children under the age of 16 must have a child employment permit before they start working
  • employees under age 18 cannot work in certain industries
  • young persons working have all the rights and responsibilities as adult employees

For particulars on restrictions, rights and obligations of youth workers, and how to apply for a Child Employment Permit, go to the Employment Standards Fact Sheet on Young Employees.

  • MB4Youth has Job Preparation Resources to teach the basics of finding a job and applying for it. You can also go to for other job-hunting tips and to find more links to services for the youth.
  • Manitoba Youth Job Centres – You will find links here to programs that provide summer job referrals throughout rural and northern Manitoba. Learn about the Odd Job Squad for ages 12-16, Partners for Careers (for Aboriginal youth), and job placement assistance for youth ages 16-19.
  • STEP Services – This is the official student employment placement service for the Government of Manitoba. Youth can register on the site to be considered for jobs ranging from entry-level to career-related positions.
  • Youth Employment Services – This is a not-for-profit organization that provides free employment services for young Manitobans. They have a resource area where they teach clients job employability skills and assist them in creating resumes, cover letters, and in their job search.
  • New Directions – Its program Training Resources for Youth (TRY), helps young people prepare for entry into the workforce or to return to school. They offer in-class training, life-skills training, provide work experience, and counselling, support and advocacy.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg – Its Personalized Employment Program (PEP) offers free, pre-employment training for youth ages 16-29. It features one-on-one career counselling and job search and job application assistance.

Other activities:

Youth Parliament of Manitoba– The Youth Parliament of Manitoba (YPM) is one of the oldest model parliaments in the Commonwealth, having held sessions continuously since 1922. It is an organization that provides a learning opportunity for the youth to know how government works by direct participation. Watch this video by Ivan Hughes to know how the youth participates in the YPM:

Health and Addictions services

Youth needing advice on healthy living, or counselling and medical help for addictions can find help from these sites:

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Community Resources

Here are other Immigrant-Serving organizations with youth-centered programs:
Accueil Francophone
ACOMI (African Communities of Manitoba Inc.)
Aurora Family Therapy Centre
Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg
Louis Riel School Division
NEEDS (Newcomers’ Employment and Education Development Services Inc.)
New Directions
Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Workers
River East Transcona School Division
SMD (Society for Manitobans with Disabilities)
Spence Neighbourhood Association

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Programs and services for Manitoba youth

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