Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 01, 2009 15:30 ET

Government of Canada Provides Local Aboriginal Youth With Skills Training

GRANDE CACHE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 1, 2009) - The Government of Canada is providing a local Aboriginal youth with the opportunity to gain valuable employment skills through an internship with the Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation. The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, announced funding for this project 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 Minister Merrifield. "We are proud to help young Albertans overcome barriers to employment by providing this opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and work experience that will allow them to reach their full potential."

The Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation will receive $15,200 in federal funding through the Government of Canada's Skills Link program. With this funding, the organization will provide one youth with almost a full year of training and mentorship in a multimedia design and administrative assistant position.

The Foundation itself has provided just over $15,000 for this year's internship program. "We are very pleased to have this opportunity to train a new staff member, and would not have been able to do so without the help of this program," said Mr. Bazil Leonard, President of the Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation.

Through work on projects like filming the Metis youth summer camp, creating a story board for film projects, editing footage and writing transcripts for interviews, the participant will develop numerous job skills, such as basic and industry-specific computer knowledge, effective communication and office administration, that can be applied to a variety of different sectors.

Delivered by Service Canada, Skills Link is one of Canada's many 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.

Service Canada 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 March 23, 2009, and March 19, 2010, the Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation will provide one youth, facing barriers to employment, with work experience, coaching and mentoring through an internship program. By working in a multimedia design and administrative assistant position, the youth participant will gain employment skills through developmental training and work experience. The goal of the program is to help the participant make a successful transition into the labour market or return to school upon completion of the program by providing the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the current job market.

The Willmore Wilderness Preservation and Historical Foundation is a non-profit registered charitable foundation that aims to preserve the history of the area. The Foundation focuses on the advancement of education of the Willmore Wilderness Park, restores historical packtrails and sites, and enhances the use of the Park for visitors.

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 people 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