Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 16, 2011 14:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Lower Mainland Youth Prepare for the Job Market

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - 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. Dr. Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Richmond, and Mr. Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"For many young Canadians, making the transition to the job market is a challenge, especially in today's environment," said Dr. Wong. "That's why our government is creating opportunities for youth to succeed through support for initiatives like the Kaleidoscope project."

"This contribution will enable the Mennonite Central Committee of British Columbia to help 36 youth develop the skills and experience needed to find a job," added Mr. Fast. "This is one example of how our government is taking action to create more and better opportunities for Canadians through skills development."

The project participants will benefit from a range of activities to increase their employability, including skills workshops, job placements, and a community service assignment. The workshops and job placements will be tailored to their individual interests and strengths, and will focus on developing skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork. At the end of the project, the participants will put what they have learned into practice and produce a video to help promote tolerance and understanding of different cultures and generations in their community.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, youth with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas, and youth who have dropped out of high school.

The Mennonite Central Committee of British Columbia will receive over $447,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Kaleidoscope project.

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 helps youth between 15 and 30 years of age who are not receiving Employment Insurance benefits develop basic and advanced employment skills. It assists participants through a coordinated, client-centred approach that offers longer-term supports and services tailored to their specific needs to 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 job 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
    Ryan Sparrow
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office