Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 15, 2011 15:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Edmonton Youth Prepare for the Job Market

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - Local youth who face barriers to employment received job preparation training and work experience through the Government of Canada's support for an employment project. The Honourable Laurie Hawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"For many young Canadians, making the transition to the job market is a challenge, especially in today's environment," said Mr. Hawn. "That's why our government is creating opportunities for youth to succeed through support for initiatives like the Bridging the Gap for Youth project."

With assistance from the federal Skills Link program, the YMCA of Edmonton helped 36 youth develop the skills and experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school.

The project participants developed individual employment action plans and attended group-based workshops that focused on topics such as team-building, conflict resolution and time management. The participants also benefited from job shadowing and volunteer activities to help them apply their new skills and connect with the community.

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.

The YMCA of Edmonton received over $277,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support their Bridging the Gap for Youth project.

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 to help them find and keep a job.

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 job market while the economy recovers.

Youth employment programs are also 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.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Ryan Sparrow
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office