Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 23, 2009 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Youth in Toronto Gain Employment Skills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2009) - Youth facing employment barriers in Toronto will benefit from the Government of Canada's commitment to a local employment project. Mr. Dean Del Mastro, Member of Parliament for Peterborough, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"It is more important than ever that youth develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in today's job market," said Mr. Del Mastro. "We are pleased to provide young Canadians facing employment barriers with an opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

LOFT Community Services will receive over $270,000 in federal funding through the Government of Canada's Skills Link program for its Pre-Employment Project. This funding will allow the organization to deliver street outreach services to 840 youth in the Toronto area, and to help them explore the options of joining the labour market, or returning to school. The organization will then work with 150 of these youth to develop an employment action plan.

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.

It is delivered by Service Canada, which provides one-stop personalized services for Government of Canada programs, services and benefits. For more information, call 1-800-O-Canada, visit, or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Between February 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010, LOFT Community Services will provide employment services to youth through its Pre-Employment Program. The organization will deliver street outreach services to 840 youth to provide them with information on how they can join the labour market, or return to the educational system. Of those youth, 150 will receive further case management services to help them find a job.

The mission of LOFT Community Services is to provide permanent housing and community support services to the most vulnerable, including those with mental health and physical and addiction challenges, the homeless, the abused and the abandoned.

LOFT Community Services is the largest organization of its type in Ontario, and the province's most diverse supportive housing provider. The organization offers specialized programs that reach some 4,000 vulnerable and marginalized youth, adults and seniors. The organization provides supportive housing to over 60 youth (ages 16 to 24) each year, and street outreach to about 1,000 youth whose circumstances put them at serious risk. Many have a background of physical or sexual abuse, an absence of family support, a mental illness or addiction issues, and may be involved in or at risk for prostitution.

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