Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 07, 2009 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Youth Overcome Barriers to Employment

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - Young Albertans with disabilities will get life and employment skills training and job search help through a local employment program delivered by the EmployAbilities Society of Alberta. Mr. Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, announced federal support for the program today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Today, more than ever, it is important that youth develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Hawn. "By supporting this project, the Government of Canada is helping youth with disabilities overcome barriers to employment, and enabling them to succeed in the workplace by providing them with the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

EmployAbilities will receive $301,532 through the Government of Canada's Skills Link program to deliver the Access to Success program. With this program, the organization will help 22 young Canadians with disabilities overcome barriers to employment by teaching them life and employment skills through developmental training and relevant work placements.

The program will teach participants skills that will help them in their day-to-day lives, such as stress and money management, as well as employment skills such as keyboarding, resume writing and interview preparation. As part of the program, EmployAbilities will also help participants secure a six-week work placement by introducing them to local employers, and by supporting them throughout the interview process.

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 this commitment in January when it introduced 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, call 1-800-O-Canada, go on the Internet at or visit your local Service Canada Centre.


Between March 30, 2009, and March 5, 2010, the EmployAbilities Society of Alberta will deliver the Access to Success program to help 22 youth with mental health disorders overcome barriers to employment by teaching them life and employment skills through developmental training and work placements.

EmployAbilities is a charitable non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and enhancing employment and learning opportunities for persons with disabilities. The organization aims to empower people with disabilities by helping them identify and use their skills and abilities. It also helps them enhance their employability by providing them with the support needed to enter and succeed in the workplace.

Access to Success is a program delivered by EmployAbilities, which helps youth ages 15 to 30 who are facing barriers to employment make a transition into the work force or return to school. During the course of the program, participants learn skills in the areas of personal life management, employability skills, job search techniques and computers. They also attend certification courses such as Service Best, Food Safe, First Aid, CPR, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

As part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Link program is one of three 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office