Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

January 19, 2011 16:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Youth and People With Disabilities in the Medicine Hat Area Prepare for the Job Market

MEDICINE HAT, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2011) - Youth who face barriers to employment and people with disabilities will get help preparing for jobs as a result of the Government of Canada's support for two projects. Mr. LaVar Payne, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, 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 all Canadians have the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Payne. "By supporting these projects, our government is helping youth and Canadians with disabilities develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

With assistance from the federal Skills Link program and the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, the Rehabilitation and Employment for Developing Independence (REDI) Enterprises Society will coordinate two projects, entitled Youth Employment Pathways and Opening Doors to Opportunities respectively.

These projects will allow 30 participants to develop life and employability skills, as well as gain on-the-job experience. 

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.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, youth with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas and youth who have dropped out of high school.

Opportunities Fund helps support an array of activities, such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment. The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians with disabilities from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services.

REDI Enterprises Society will receive over $187,000 in federal funding from Skills Link and Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to support its two projects.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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 helps youth between 15 and 30 years of age who are not receiving Employment Insurance benefits develop basic and advanced employment skills. It assists participants through a coordinated, client-centred approach that offers longer-term supports and services tailored to their specific needs, helping them find and keep a job.

The Community Coordinator component of the Opportunities Fund is designed to support projects that help Canadians with disabilities develop the broad range of skills and work experience they need to participate in the job market. It is available to eligible organizations that enter into agreements with eligible participants and employers in support of activities that further Opportunities Fund objectives.

The Skills Link and Opportunities Fund programs are 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

These programs are delivered by Service Canada, which provides one-stop personalized services for Government of Canada programs, services and benefits. For more information about these programs, visit, call 1 800 O-Canada or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

Contact Information

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