Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

July 29, 2009 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Kelowna Youth Prepare for Jobs

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 29, 2009) - Local youth that face barriers to employment will get job-preparation training and work experience through the Government of Canada's support for a local employment project. Mr. Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, 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 develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Cannan. "By supporting this project, we are helping Kelowna youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

Project Literacy Kelowna Society will receive $473,382 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Esteem Program, which will help 80 youth facing employment barriers develop life and job skills to ease their transition to work or return to school.

"The federal funding allows the Esteem Program to incrementally enhance the at-risk participants' employability skills so that they can build a current reputation and compete for independence and self-reliance in the employment market," said Mr. Paul Purtell, Manager of the Esteem Program. "We do this through the two components of support: our five-week employability/critical thinking classroom component and our 160-hour paid work experience component. Without these supports, our participants would be ill-prepared to compete with their contemporaries that have built reputations for reliability and accountability."

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.

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 participate in the workforce and contribute to their communities.

Skills Link 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 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 www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.


BACKGROUNDER

Founded in 1986, Project Literacy Kelowna Society is a non-profit organization offering one-to-one tutoring to adults that face literacy challenges, so that they can reach their full potential at work, at home and in the community through free individualized literacy instruction. Project Literacy was the first independent community-based literacy organization to be chartered in British Columbia. Between July 1, 2009, and September 30, 2010, the organization will help 80 youth facing employment barriers become employed or return to school through the Esteem Program, which will deliver the group-based employability skills and work experience components of the Skills Link program.

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 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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