Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 27, 2009 15:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Aboriginal Youth Prepare for Jobs on Vancouver Island

PORT ALBERNI, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 27, 2009) - Aboriginal youth facing barriers to employment are getting valuable job preparation training thanks to the Government of Canada's investment in a local employment project. Mr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni, 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 young Canadians develop the skills that will help them participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Lunney. "This project will help Aboriginal youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their potential."

The Nuu-chah-nulth Employment Training Program (NETP) will receive over $95,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its BladeRunners project. This project will provide 36 Aboriginal youth facing multiple employment barriers with life and employability skills training to help them prepare for jobs or return to school.

"We are pleased to work in partnership with the federal government on this initiative," said Dr. Michelle Corfield, Vice-President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. "This funding will enable NETP to assist in addressing the socio-economic disparity that exists for First Nations people in BC and Canada."

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

"In addition to 24/7 support for at-risk youth, the BladeRunners project focusses on multi-level partnerships and long-term attachments to careers," said Mr. Darcy McDiarmid, Director of BladeRunners and Provincial Coordinator for A.C.C.E.S.S. "The financial contribution from Service Canada demonstrates that the Public Private Partnership Model used for the BladeRunners project really works."

Skills Link is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible work force 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.

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, call 1-800-O-Canada, go on the Internet at or visit your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


The Nuu-chah-nulth Employment Training Program (NETP) aims to increase the quality of life, self-reliance and economic prosperity of Aboriginal people and organizations within the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council region, by supporting and empowering career and employment aspirations. Between April 6, 2009, and December 18, 2009, NETP will provide 36 Aboriginal youth facing multiple employment barriers with life and employability skills training and experience to help them successfully transition to work or return to school.

Since 1994, BladeRunners has helped construction contractors fill entry-level positions with motivated young people. Employers have discovered that these at-risk youth ages 15 to 30 will succeed if given the opportunity. After two years, 80 percent remain in the construction trades, with 30 percent continuing on to journeyperson status or entrepreneurship.

As part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Link program is one of three Government of Canada programs that help young Canadians facing barriers to employment obtain career information, develop skills, gain work experience, find good jobs and stay employed.

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