The Quebec government recently launched its 2021-2024 Youth Action Plan. This reflects the priorities expressed by young people aged 15 to 29, gathered in recent months during a consultation. Education and citizenship find prominent places there.
The 2021-2024 Youth Action Plan aims "to support young people aged 15 to 29 in their journey towards autonomy by offering them stimulating, healthy and safe environments and by supporting them in their learning and their life project". It is the second version of a first plan launched in 2016.
It is made up of 21 objectives, divided into seven areas of intervention: employment, entrepreneurship, environment, culture, education, health and citizenship. In order to take into account the concerns of today's young people, the Culture and Environment axes have been added compared to 2016. Likewise, new objectives have appeared:
- Train and equip young people for the professions of the future (employment axis);
- Promote responsible entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurship axis);
- Support the development of critical thinking and civic engagement (Citizenship axis).
Education was the most commented subject during the public consultation. The young people who took part said they wanted “more learning through action and experimentation. They wish to participate in the realization of concrete projects. They enjoy extracurricular activities that promote self-knowledge. They want them to be more accessible and varied, so that they correspond better to their fields of interest ”.
"While significant progress has been made in recent years in education and higher education, several challenges remain relevant," the report reads. Thus, the increase in school perseverance, graduation and qualification of young people, access to extracurricular activities and educational and vocational guidance services, the promotion of different training paths are the stated objectives.
To achieve them, measures are already planned, such as the establishment of experiential programs in arts, science and engineering, design, as well as leadership and entrepreneurship (Youth Fusion), a virtual mentoring service (Academos Cybermentorat ), exploration internships in the workplace (JeunesExplo).
“If young people get involved in many ways in their community, particularly in volunteer actions, their voter turnout rate continues to decline. The digital world in which they are immersed offers new possibilities for civic engagement, but it also brings challenges. Faced with the amount of information available, the proliferation of false news and the polarization of opinions, it can be difficult for young people to navigate, which represents a brake on citizen participation ”, reads. we introduce the Citizenship axis.
A recent study concludes that 60 % of 18 to 24 year olds had difficulty distinguishing reliable sources through the flood of information they consult online. The development of critical thinking and civic engagement of young people therefore becomes an objective, accompanied by measures such as 30 seconds before believing in training, by the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec, and the digital youth activities of Digital Spring.
In addition, a section is entirely dedicated to First Nations youth and Inuit youth. While those under 30 only constitute a third of the entire population of Quebec, they represent half of the Aboriginal population.
“Whether they live in communities or in urban areas, young Aboriginals face multiple problems that can have major consequences on their development, which positions them among the most vulnerable in Quebec,” we read in the introduction.
An intensification of actions with Aboriginal youth, in particular through support for new youth strategies developed by young people from the Atikamekw and Naskapi Nations, is therefore planned.
Finally, the Secrétariat à la jeunesse, in collaboration with the Institut de la statistique du Québec, created the Statistical showcase on young people aged 15 to 29. This presents updated data on the situation of young Quebecers in relation to the seven areas of intervention. Ultimately, it will include 60 youth indicators which will be gradually disseminated.