Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

August 07, 2009 17:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Merritt Youth Prepare for Jobs

MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2009) - Local youth will benefit from the Government of Canada's support of a local employment project that will provide them with employability skills and work experience. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, 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 Minister Day. "By supporting this project, we are helping Merritt youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

The Merritt Walk of Stars Society will receive $85,443 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Youth Mural Project, which will help 10 youth facing employment barriers develop life and job skills to ease their transition to work or return to school.

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.

"Funding for this project is an enormous benefit to both the community and the Mural Project, with the success of the Youth at Risk program," said Her Worship Susan Roline, Mayor of the City of Merritt.

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

The Merritt Walk of Stars Society is a non-profit society run by volunteers from the business community. Through its Youth Mural Project, the Society works with youth facing barriers to employment to create larger-than-life murals of the country music legends that have performed at the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival since 2005. Between June 1, 2009, and November 27, 2009, this project will help 10 youth overcome barriers to employment by providing them with life and employability skills and work experience. This project will help the youth develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in order to participate in the current and future labour market, and will promote education and skills as being key components of labour market participation.

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