Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 10, 2010 11:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Toronto Youth Develop Job Skills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 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. Mr. David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin–Caledon, 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. Tilson. "By supporting this project, we are helping Toronto youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

FoodShare Toronto will receive $345,668 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Focus on Food project, which will help 20 youth facing employment barriers develop life and job skills to ease their transition to work or return to school.

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. 

"FoodShare is so grateful to the Government of Canada for prioritizing employment programs for youth at risk," said Ms. Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto. "These programs provide jobs, but they do so much more, by laying a foundation that helps our youth reach their full potential through skills and experience that establish lifelong patterns for healthy eating and living, and by cultivating civic engagement that results in deeply positive impacts across Canadian communities."

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.

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.

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 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit community organization, reaches over 145 000 people a month through projects that include fresh produce distribution, student nutrition programs, community gardening and cooking initiatives, and homemade baby food workshops. The participants in the Focus on Food project will attend life skills and employability workshops focusing on topics such as communications, thinking and problem solving, teamwork, and job preparation. The participants will also work full time for FoodShare in either the kitchen or the warehouse. Through this work experience, they will develop transferable skills, while helping FoodShare assist disadvantaged members of their community.

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 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.

Contact Information

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