Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

November 09, 2010 16:30 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Edmonton Youth Prepare for Jobs

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2010) - Local youth who face barriers to employment will get job preparation training and work experience through the Government of Canada's support for an employment project. The Honourable Laurie Hawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that youth develop the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Hawn. "By supporting this project, we are helping Edmonton youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

The EmployAbilities Society of Alberta will receive over $316,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Access to Success project, which will help 26 youth facing employment barriers gain the skills and experience needed to enter the labour market or the confidence to return to school.

Through this project, youth will take part in activities that focus on topics such as leadership skills and communication, as well as certification courses. They will also attend presentations by employers on different jobs in the workforce and participate in job shadowing.

"EmployAbilities is extremely proud of the Access to Success program," said Ms. Iris Saunders, Executive Director, EmployAbilities. "Our partnership with Service Canada has been one of the key components in making significant changes in the lives of youth with mental health concerns. This innovative initiative fosters skills development and capacity building for youth with employers in our community, and attracts a young workforce eager to participate in today's labour force on a long-term basis."

This project is a good example of how the federal government is working with the provinces and territories, community organizations and other stakeholders to provide Canadians with the training, skills and opportunities they need to get jobs and contribute to their communities.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


As part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Link program is one of three programs that help young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop skills, gain work experience, find good jobs and stay employed. The other two programs are Summer Work Experience and Career Focus.

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.

Through the 2010 "Jobs and Growth Budget," the Government of Canada committed an additional $60 million to the Skills Link and Career Focus programs. This additional one-time investment will enable more young Canadians to gain the experience and skills they need to successfully participate in the labour market while the economy recovers.

Youth employment programs are also 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 its commitment to this strategy 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. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

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.

Contact Information

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