In 1994 the Community Access Program began. Initially, Industry Canada focused on rural communities, where Internet access was less available. Once the rural communities were equipped with computers and Internet access, Industry Canada focused on what is referred to as the “Digital Divide.” According to Statistics Canada 2001, the following groups are in highest need of services offered by CAP: Aboriginals, older Canadians, Canadians with low income or low education, francophone, new immigrants, and people in rural areas. Therefore, the focus is primarily to assist in 'Bridging the Digital Divide'.
CAP Sites in urban areas were then opened to help reach these people. The program plays a crucial role in bridging the Digital Divide; contributing to the foundation for electronic access to government services; encouraging online learning and literacy; fostering the development of community based infrastructure; promoting Canadian e-commerce; and providing training with Assistive Technology. In order to make better use of the computers and equipment funded by CAP, Industry Canada also initiated the Community Access Program - Youth Initiative (CAP YI). CAP Sites could apply for funding to hire Youth Interns to come and work in their CAP Sites to train the public in computer and Internet use and technology.
Industry Canada Logo
The Community Access Program (CAP) Youth Initiative (YI) is coordinated by Industry Canada's Community Access Program and is funded through the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) of Canada which is overseen by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). CAP's youth initiative aims to provide employment opportunities for young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 - primarily students, recent graduates, or the under-employed or unemployed.
CAP YI participates help individuals, community organizations and small businesses improve their knowledge and effective use of the Internet and related information technologies through computer training. CAP YI is:
* To support the sustainability and long term viability of CAP Sites by providing work experience for young Canadians in CAP Sites across Canada;
* To increase the use of information and communications technology (ICT) across Canada to promote economic and social development at the community level; and
* To allow young people to gain valuable skills related to ICT thereby positioning them for longer-term employment.
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