Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

December 17, 2008 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Removing Barriers to Employment

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2008) - Local businesses having difficulty finding qualified staff will see some relief thanks to federal government support for an employment program aimed at helping under-represented people prepare for jobs in high-demand occupations. Ms. Dona Cadman, Member of Parliament for Surrey North, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Canada is built on a promise of opportunity; the chance to work hard, raise a family and make a better life regardless of cultural background, gender, age, disability or official language," said Ms. Cadman. "In supporting this project, the Government of Canada is helping these participants share in that promise by removing barriers to finding employment."

The Surrey Community Services Society will receive $3.4 million in funding support for its Whalley Employment Resource Centre project under the Government of Canada's Employment Assistance Services program. The project will help almost 10,000 unemployed persons in under-represented labour groups, such as Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, youth and immigrant communities, and other people facing barriers to employment, to acquire the skills, knowledge and experience they need to obtain and maintain full-time employment.

Surrey is a fast-growing urban area with a diverse population and increasing labour requirements. In order to address current and future labour shortages, the project will focus on preparing participants for employment in specific high-demand occupations in retail, wholesale, trade and construction, information technology, recreation, professional and technical businesses.

This project reflects the federal government's commitment to working in partnership with the provinces and territories, communities and stakeholders to provide Canadians with the training, skills and opportunities they need to participate in the work force and contribute to their communities.

The Employment Assistance Services 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.

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The Surrey Community Services Society (SCSS) is a not-for-profit, accredited organization whose mandate is "helping people to help themselves". In addition to offering case-management services as an agreement holder with Service Canada for the past nine years, the organization has been delivering a variety of other successful employment programs since 1985.

Between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, the SCSS, through the Whalley Employment Resource Centre, will assist a minimum of 9,744 unemployed, under-represented individuals in the Surrey area to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment in high-demand occupations.

The Employment Assistance Services (EAS) program provides funding to organizations that offer employment services to help clients re-enter the labour market. Funding for the EAS program was provided for in the March 2007 federal budget.

All unemployed Canadians have access to a range of services under the EAS program. However, some EAS offerings are available only to clients who are eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, or who have recently been receiving EI benefits.

Employment Assistance Services include providing clients with information about the labour market, helping to prepare resumes, career-planning services, employment counselling, diagnostic assessment, help with job-search skills, job-finding clubs, and job-placement services.

Eligible recipients of EAS funding are businesses (including federal Crown corporations and provincial/territorial Crown corporations), organizations, individuals, public health and educational institutions, municipal governments, and band/tribal councils, as well as some provincial/territorial government departments and agencies. These entities act as employers or service coordinators under the program.

This project has been reviewed to ensure compliance with Service Canada's administration of its grants and contributions programs, and is subject to review under the Financial Administration Act.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Service Canada Communications
    604-666-2337 ext. 5478