The federal government has given the province of P.E.I. $543,500 to fund more than 60 youth internships, Charlottetown MP Sean Casey announced today. 

The P.E.I. Student Financial Assistance Corporation will use the money for internships designed to help develop skills in small business, entrepreneurship and career awareness, with an overall focus on information and communications technologies, the province said in a written release.

At the same time, the province unveiled a new space for 41 of those internships at the Atlantic Technology Centre. It's called the Youth Commons Space, and will house three of the P.E.I. Supporting Youth in Careers, or SYnC, youth programs: the Hive cultural entrepreneurship program, the Propel Aerospace Program and the IT Garage. 

"The space will allow for greater interaction between these youth programs and will foster information sharing," the province said via written release Friday. 

'Creating local jobs'

Casey called the space impressive, adding it "is creating local jobs while imparting valuable skills to today's youth and tomorrow's digital leaders."

The funding came through the federal government's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Youth Internship Program, which is funded through the federal Youth Employment Strategy. 

The internship program helps not-for-profit organizations provide jobs for more than 1,000 young Canadians each year, the release said.

Youth Commons Space at Charlottetown Atlantic Technology Centre

The new Youth Commons Space will create 'local jobs while imparting valuable skills to today's youth and tomorrow's digital leaders,' says Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. (CBC)

Here's more information on the three youth programs in the new common space:

• The Hive: For the last two years, the province and Culture PEI to foster entrepreneurial skills in recent cultural graduates under 30 who have an idea for a cultural or an artistic entrepreneurial venture but require business-related knowledge to take their idea to the next level.

• Propel: for the last two years, P.E.I. and the Aerospace & Defence Association of PEI  has offered internships to youth  to explore career and education in aerospace and defence on P.E.I.

• IT Garage: For three years, the province and the IT industry have hired recent graduates and students in IT- and business-related fields to work in teams to develop their own product, like a video game or a business application.