Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

July 13, 2009 15:32 ET

Government of Canada Helps Post-Secondary Graduates in Atlantic Canada Develop Employment Skills

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 13, 2009) - Saint Mary's University will provide 17 post-secondary graduates with the opportunity to enhance and develop their employment skills thanks to support from the Government of Canada. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's economic environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to succeed in the job market," said Minister MacKay. "Our government is proud to support projects that offer young Canadians the opportunity to develop the skills and gain the experience that will help them reach their full potential."

Saint Mary's University will receive $220,919 for its project WorkSmarts: Post Graduate Employment Opportunities through the Career Focus program of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. This funding will help the university offer a 29-week work experience placement to 17 recent post-secondary graduates across all four Atlantic provinces, allowing them to apply the skills sets they acquired during their education.

"For many post-secondary graduates, the prospect of landing that first career job can be a very daunting task," said Mr. Michael Sanderson, Project Supervisor at the Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre. "The Career Focus program will allow us to reach out to these graduates throughout Atlantic Canada and provide them with relevant employment experiences with exciting Atlantic Canadian companies. Participants will have the opportunity to achieve their career goals while receiving mentorship, skills training and ongoing support."

The federal government is working with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders to make sure that Canadians get the training, skills and opportunities they need to participate in the workforce and contribute to the quality of life in their communities.

The Career Focus program 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 this commitment in January when it introduced 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 www.actionplan.gc.ca.

The Career Focus 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, call 1 800 O-Canada, visit servicecanada.gc.ca or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


BACKGROUNDER

Since 1998, the Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre has successfully organized over 230 internships under the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. Between July 6, 2009, and February 26, 2010, Saint Mary's University will provide 17 post-secondary graduates with the opportunity to enhance and develop their employment skills through a 29-week work experience placement. The work placements will focus on expanding and growing such market sectors as hospitality and tourism, information technology, business administration, science and technology, entrepreneurship and arts and culture.

Career Focus is one of three programs under the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy that help young Canadians get the information, skills and work experience they need to make a successful transition to the workplace. By linking highly skilled, post-secondary youth with potential employers who can provide them with career-related work experiences, Career Focus helps young Canadians acquire advanced employment skills and facilitates their transition into the rapidly changing labour market. The other two programs under the Strategy are Skills Link and Summer Work Experience. More information is available at the following: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/epb/yi/yep/newprog/yesprograms.shtml.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559