Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

August 19, 2010 12:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Calgary Youth Reach Their Career Goals

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2010) - Local youth who face significant barriers to employment will gain life and employability skills through return-to-school and return-to-work projects supported by the Government of Canada. The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that youth receive the education and support they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Minister Prentice. "By funding these projects, we are helping Calgary youth develop the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential."

Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary will receive over $390,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Stoked About Staying in School (SASS) and Maestro projects, which will help a total of 44 youth facing educational and employment barriers return to school and reach their career goals.

Skills Link focuses on helping youth who face barriers to employment, such as early parenting or having a disability, as well as youth living in rural and remote areas and youth who have dropped out of high school. Skills Link also offers supports to Aboriginal and immigrant youth who face difficulties in finding employment. 

"Returning to high school and developing employability skills are the fundamental benefits of the SASS and Maestro programs. The SASS program enables program participants to reduce the barriers that prevent their return to high school and enhance their independent life skills. The Maestro program expands those life skills and contributes to employability skills for program participants. These programs will improve the learning and career opportunities for those who complete the programs, which is why we are so appreciative of the Government of Canada's investment in these valuable initiatives," said Ms. Ronni Abraham, Director of Intervention Services for Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.

The federal government is working with the provinces and territories, community organizations and other stakeholders to provide Canadians with the training, skills and opportunities they need to get jobs and contribute to their communities.

Through the 2010 "Jobs and Growth Budget," the Government of Canada committed an additional $60 million to the Skills Link and Career Focus programs. This additional one-time investment will enable more young Canadians to gain the experience and skills they need to successfully participate in the labour market while the economy recovers.

Skills Link is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

The Skills Link program is delivered by Service Canada, which provides one-stop personalized services for Government of Canada programs, services and benefits. For more information about this program, visit, call 1 800 O-Canada or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


The mission of Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary is to provide a safe and supportive environment in which youth can overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence. Through the Stoked About Staying in School project, the organization will provide services, information and interventions that will help youth aged 15 to 19 return to school and create a plan to reach their employment goals. The participants will also take part in workshops that will assist them in developing the skills and confidence they need to realize their plans. During the Maestro project, youth will attend workshops that focus on employability skills, and will gain hands-on experience through community service.

As part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Link program is one of three programs that help young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop skills, gain work experience, find good jobs and stay employed. The other two programs are Summer Work Experience and Career Focus.

Skills Link focuses on helping youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, young persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas, and youth who have dropped out of high school. It offers a client-centred approach based on assessing an individual's specific needs. The program supports youth in developing basic and advanced employment skills. Eligible participants between 15 and 30 years of age—who are not receiving Employment Insurance benefits—are assisted through a coordinated approach, offering longer-term supports and services that can help them find and keep a job.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office