Government of Canada invests to help Okanagan youth get jobs

KELOWNA, BC, March 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is providing support for Okanagan youth to help them gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to enter and succeed in the job market. The announcement was made by the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Mr. Cannan. "The Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy is helping youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to get jobs now and prepare for the workforce of tomorrow."

The YMCA of Okanagan is receiving over $327,000 from the Skills Link program to help youth overcome barriers to employment. Skills Link is part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES).

"The project builds on the success of YMCA of Okanagan's past activities, which help youth acquire life and job skills to ease their transition to work," said Mr. Albas. "Today's youth are tomorrow's workforce, so by investing in them we are helping contribute to Canada's long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity."

Participants will gain job skills through activities that focus on topics such as information management, job search strategies, teamwork and problem solving. Based on their needs and interests, youth will also benefit from work placements with local employers in various fields such as retail, food services and construction.

"The YMCA of Okanagan would like to recognize the Government of Canada for their funding contribution for this project," said Sharon Peterson, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Okanagan. "This project is designed to provide fundamental and long-lasting life and employment skills for at-risk youth in the Okanagan that enables them to be productive members of society."

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. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer.

Economic Action Plan 2012 provided an additional $50 million over two years to enhance YES through a new initiative that will connect young Canadians with jobs in high demand and help them develop tangible skills and gain work experience.

Youth employment programs are part of the Government of Canada's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. 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 actionplan.gc.ca.

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.


Backgrounder


The Youth Employment Strategy is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace.

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

SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan

For further information:

Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559
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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at: actionplan.gc.ca.

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Canada's Economic Action Plan

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Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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