Service Canada

Service Canada

March 07, 2008 11:40 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Canada's Young Tradespeople as They Show Their Skills at WorldSkills Calgary 2009

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 7, 2008) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced funding of $13.4 million for the 2009 WorldSkills competition, to be held in Calgary. During this international skills competition, Canada will play host to the world's best skilled young tradespeople as they display their talents.

"The Government of Canada is committed to creating the best educated, most skilled, and most flexible work force in the world," said Minister Solberg. "Our partnership with WorldSkills Calgary 2009 will showcase the talents of Canada's young skilled work force. It will also ensure that young Canadians consider opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies, and will encourage more businesses that depend on skilled workers to invest in Canada."

From September 1 to 6, 2009, Calgary will host more than 900 young people between the ages of 17 and 23 from 49 countries, who will compete at WorldSkills. The WorldSkills competition is an Olympic-style event where young skilled people compete in their various trades, for a public audience, and test themselves against demanding international standards. The WorldSkills competition sets world-class standards in more than 40 skill categories, ranging from welding to cooking, auto-body repair to landscape gardening, and plumbing to Web design.

"We are committed to staging the best ever WorldSkills competition," said Richard Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills Calgary 2009. "The significant support from the Government of Canada is integral to hosting this event."

The Government of Canada is committing $13.4 million to this project through its Youth Awareness initiative. Youth Awareness activities, which are delivered by employers, employer associations, and organizations, respond to the changing needs of the labour market and encourage communities to recognize youth as an important part of the work force.

This project reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to creating a strong economy for all Canadians. Through its Advantage Canada plan, the Government is building on Canada's strengths and gaining a global competitive advantage by reducing taxes for all Canadians, increasing competition in the marketplace, and building modern infrastructure.

The Government has taken steps to address skills shortages and promote the trades as a quality career option by funding skills-related projects and creating the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, a taxable cash grant of $1,000 a year that is available to registered apprentices in the first two years of a Red Seal trade program.

Service Canada brings Government of Canada services and benefits together in a single delivery network. It provides Canadians with one-stop service they can access however they choose-by phone at 1 800 O-Canada, on the Internet at, or in person at Service Canada Centres across the country.

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Youth Awareness Initiative

Youth Awareness is an initiative, funded under the Employment Insurance (EI) program, that complements the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. Youth Awareness projects are delivered at the national, regional, and local levels.

Youth Awareness provides financial assistance for projects designed to address labour-market issues that face communities, which can be used to develop and implement human-resource strategies to meet employers' current and future human-resource needs.

National priorities for Youth Awareness have been set to promote a pan-Canadian approach to delivering Youth Awareness projects. The following priorities were developed in collaboration with Service Canada Centres, and have been approved for fiscal year 2007-2008:

- Skills gaps-to expand young people's awareness of the shortages in labour in certain skilled trades sectors of employment;

- Labour-force integration of rural youth-to improve opportunities for youth living in smaller, rural communities where jobs and employment services are more difficult to find.

Contact Information

  • Media inquiries:
    Service Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Public inquiries:
    1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
    TTY: 1-800-926-9105
    Youth Info Line