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10/11/2012 | 05:03pm US/Eastern

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan- The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that the Government of Canada is taking action to address skills shortages by investing in six new projects that will help equip youth in Saskatchewan with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to enter and succeed in the job market. The announcement was made at an event hosted by the Saskatchewan Abilities Council.

"Our government's top priorities are job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity, and we believe that connecting our youth with practical work experience is essential to addressing our skills shortages," said Minister Finley. "We continue to invest in our national Youth Employment Strategy, to help more youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to get jobs now and prepare for the workforce of tomorrow."

Minister Finley announced that six community organizations in Saskatchewan are receiving a total of over $1.2 million from the Skills Link program to help youth overcome barriers to employment, improve their employability and develop job skills through activities such as in-class instruction, career counselling, job shadowing and work placements with local employers. Skills Link is part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES).

"The Skills Link funding will allow agencies in Saskatoon to work with at-risk youth and assist them with developing their skills," said Janine Baumann, Program Manager, Saskatchewan Abilities Council. "Agencies help youth find their strengths and work with them to develop a realistic plan that will assist them with their long-term goals."

"Programs such as this make it possible for people from under-represented groups to make the transition from unemployment or under-employment to the workforce," said Carol Lumb, Director of the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council. "In addition to tourism, which is a valuable contributor to the provincial economy, our participants also build long-term and rewarding careers in mining and other significant economic sectors."

"Youth employment programs are part of our government's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce," added Minister Finley. "Today's youth are tomorrow's workers and leaders, so by investing in them we are contributing to Canada's long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity."

The Government of Canada is helping youth plan their careers, learn new skills and find jobs through enhanced online services available at Youth.gc.ca.

- 30 -

For more information, contact:

Marian Ngo
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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This news release is available online at: actionplan.gc.ca.


On October 11, 2012, Minister Finley announced over $1.2 million in funding through the Skills Link program, which is part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. The funding is being distributed as follows:

  • $666,985 for Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council's "Ready to Work" project.
  • $182,147 for Saskatchewan Intercultural Association's "MyWay" project.
  • $141, 507 for Saskatchewan Abilities Council's "Choices Youth" project.
  • $94,675 for Engele & Kook Associate's "Career Moves for the Trades" project.
  • $66,207 for Assemblée Communautaire Fransaskoise's "Centre d'Intégration au Marché de l'Emploi " project.
  • $49,995 for Global Infobrokers' youth employment project.

The Youth Employment Strategy is the Government of Canada's commitment to helping youth make a successful transition to the workplace. With an annual budget of more than $300 million, YES helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. In addition to Skills Link, YES also includes the Career Focus program and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative.

Through Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada is providing an additional $50 million over two years to enhance YES through a new initiative that will connect young Canadians with jobs that are in high demand and help them develop tangible skills and gain work experience. The additional funding will be delivered through two Calls for Proposals which opened on September 5 and will close on November 2. Organizations across Canada are invited to apply. Information is available at servicecanada.gc.ca.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, including youth who are single parents, youth with disabilities and youth in rural and remote areas, to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school.

Career Focus provides funding to employers to hire young post-secondary graduates to give them career-related work experience and help them acquire skills to transition into the job market.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

To learn more about Canada's Youth Employment Strategy and other youth employment initiatives, please visit Youth.gc.ca.

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