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Canada and Finland sign 'youth mobility' deal

The agreement allows people between 18 and 35 to work and travel in each country

THUNDER BAY Patty Hajdu says ties between Canada and Finland will be strengthened by an agreement allowing younger adults from one country to work and travel in the other.

The Thunder Bay-Superior North MP announced the signing of the Canada-Finland Youth Mobility Agreement on behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser.

Ambassador Roy Eriksson made the announcement on behalf of the Republic of Finland.

The agreement, which is expected to come into force next year, allows people aged 18 to 35 to work and travel in each country under International Experience Canada and the equivalent Finnish program.

IEC includes three categories: working holiday, international co-op (internship) and young professionals, and participation is allowed for up to 12 months per category.

"The cultural fabric of Thunder Bay and our region has been woven through with Finnish culture," Hajdu said in a statement.

"From food, language and traditions, generations of Finns have contributed to our communities in many important ways. The Canada-Finland Youth Mobility Agreement will give youth of every background all across Canada an opportunity to learn from one another, strengthening ties between our two countries."

Tuula Haatainen, Finland's minister of employment for Finland, said "We are happy to welcome the youth mobility agreement, which deepens the ties between are already-close countries. The youth of both Finland and Canada will have even more opportunities to travel, work abroad and learn of each other's cultures."

According to the federal government, individuals who need help with applying to the program may consider using a recognized group such as a youth service organization that offers work and travel support.

These may be non-profit, for-profit or educational organizations.