Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the proposed continuation of two very important programs that were mentioned in the Budget Address on Monday. Both of these programs help northerners gain the skills and work experience they need to be successful in the workforce.
One million dollars of the proposed funds will be used to extend the very successful Working Together program. This program is aimed at the more than 1,000 NWT students in post-secondary education and young people who are unemployed. Working Together dollars subsidize wages paid by employers in both the private and non-profit sectors. Over the past two years, more than 900 young people in the Western NWT have found employment in positions subsidized by the program.
Working Together has been a good partnership between government and the private sector. The jobs created under this program allow young people to get relevant experience that will help them when they are ready to look for permanent work. Mr. Speaker, it is proposed that the one-year community-based Skills for Work program will also receive $1 million. This program is based on the Investing in People program that ended on March 31 this year.
The Skills for Work program is intended to help northerners gain the skills to take advantage of the many job opportunities that we have. The proposed money will be used for pre-employment programs and will be managed through the department's regional offices. As well, support will be given to adult basic education, skills development and community job training that will be managed by Aurora College. The programs offered will be based on identified community education and training needs.
One component of the Skills for Work program worth special mention is the enhancement of training opportunities for special needs assistants. The need for more of this type of training was identified by the ministerial forum and during other work on the department's strategic plan. I am pleased that we may have some additional funding to put into this area of need.
The infrastructure to support these programs is already in place, so we hope to implement them very quickly. If the House approves the funding, the Working Together program will be available to employers by the end of the month. The Skills for Work program will be up and running in the near future as well.
Both of these programs are investments in our future and in our youth, Mr. Speaker. They are both important parts of our commitment as a government to ensure that northerners are ready and able to take advantage of the employment opportunities around them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.