Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 03, 2009 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Youth Gain Employment Skills

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 3, 2009) - Young British Columbians will get the chance to develop employment skills while gaining valuable work experience thanks to the federal government's investment in a local youth employment project. Ms. Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's economic environment, it is essential that youth develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in the job market," said Ms. Grewal. "By supporting the continuation of this project, we are helping youth in Surrey gain the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to obtain full-time employment."

The Pathfinder Youth Centre Society will receive more than $390,000 through the Government of Canada's Skills Link program to deliver its Employment Beginnings program. In the seventh year of delivering this program, Pathfinder will help 24 young Canadians develop employment skills by providing relevant training in the hospitality and tourism industries. Youth participants will also gain valuable work experience through work placements at local restaurants, hotels and retail locations.

Skills Link is one of Canada's youth employment programs, and 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 its commitment to create a strong work force 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.

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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, the Pathfinder Youth Centre Society will help 24 youth overcome barriers to employment by teaching them life and employability skills. The organization will also provide youth with nine weeks of work experience in the tourism and hospitality industries through a variety of work placements.

Pathfinder is one of the leading non-profit organizations in Vancouver's Lower Mainland dedicated to helping youth facing barriers to employment acquire life and employment skills. The organization's programs help youth transition into the work environment, or from school into the work environment, by providing training and mentoring.

Since 2003, Pathfinder has received funding from the Government of Canada for its Employment Beginnings program. This paid hospitality and tourism program teaches participants life skills such as stress management, time management and communication, as well as employment skills like customer service, conflict resolution, résumé writing and job searching. The program also provides participants with the opportunity to complete certification training relevant to the hospitality and tourism industries, and allows them to gain work experience through placements at local businesses.

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