Creating job opportunities for youth in Edmonton - Youth facing barriers to employment benefit from job skills upgrading and employment opportunities

EDMONTON, May 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Edmonton youth are developing job skills and gaining hands-on work experience in two new projects through funding provided by the Government of Canada. The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, made the announcement today.

In a project led by the Somali–Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization, up to 36 immigrant youth will improve their employability skills through classroom activities that focus on leadership development, communication and workplace etiquette. Participants will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in the private- or not-for-profit sector in a high-demand field that matches their goals, interests and abilities.

Accès Emploi Alberta will offer up to 15 local youth the chance to participate in workshops on topics such as management, teamwork and conflict resolution. Participants will then be matched to a job where they can obtain work experience that complements their field of study and career goals.

The Government of Canada will provide more than $529,000 in funding for these projects through the Skills Link and Career Focus programs, which provide hands-on work experience, job search assistance and skills upgrading resources to youth facing barriers to employment, including those who are single parents, have disabilities, are newcomers, or live in rural and remote areas.

Investing in youth jobs and opportunities is part of the Government of Canada's plan to grow the middle class and help those seeking to join it.

Quick Facts

  • Skills Link and Career Focus are part of the Government's Youth Employment Strategy (YES). Each year the Government invests more than $330 million in YES to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.
  • To expand employment opportunities for young Canadians, Budget 2016 proposes to invest an additional $165.4 million in YES in 2016–17. That's an increase of 77 percent over the year before, and the largest increase to YES since 1997.
  • This new funding is on top of the $330 million investment over three years in the Canada Summer Jobs program to create up to 70,000 new jobs for youth each year.



"We believe investing in jobs and opportunities for youth is essential for the economy of today and the workforce of tomorrow. By supporting projects that help Edmonton youth get hands-on experience and launch their careers, we are helping to ensure that the next generation reaches its full potential."
– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"We are grateful for federal funding and support for our Somali Youth Employability, Empowerment and Integration project, which will allow our organization to assist more youth in our community. This project will provide employment training that will empower and engage youth, and encourage them to consider their future employment and education."
Bashir Ahmed, Executive Director, Somali–Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization 

''We are pleased to continue to offer the études@emploi program to bilingual post-secondary graduate students seeking meaningful career-related work experience. This program is a win-win opportunity; employers will benefit from the knowledge of well-educated, motivated youth, while graduates may further enhance their employability skills to become contributing members of the Alberta labour market.''
Suzanne Corneau, Executive Director, Accès Emploi

Associated Links

Youth Employment Strategy 
Skills Link Program
Career Focus Program

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The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is an initiative led by Employment and Social Development Canada and delivered in collaboration with 10 other federal departments and agencies. Since 2005, YES has helped over 772,000 young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 get the information and gain the skills and work experience they need to succeed in the workplace.

Each year, the Government invests more than $330 million through its Youth Employment Strategy to help young Canadians gain the skills and work experience they need to start their careers and contribute to the economy.

Earlier this year, the Government announced $339 million in additional funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program, to be delivered over three years, starting in 2016–17.

More recently, Budget 2016 proposed to invest an additional $165.4 million in the Youth Employment Strategy in 2016–17 to:

  • create new green jobs for youth;
  • increase the number of youth who access the Skills Link program; and
  • support employment opportunities in the heritage sector under the Young Canada Works program.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment—including single parents, youth with disabilities, young newcomers 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. Skills Link has helped over 230,000 youth since 2005.

Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates transition to the labour market through paid internships and helps provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies. The Career Focus initiative has helped over 37,000 youth acquire skills needed to join the job market since 2005.

Summer Work Experience provides wage subsidies to employers to create summer employment for secondary and post-secondary students. The Summer Work Experience program includes Canada Summer Jobs. The Canada Summer Jobs program 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 who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Since 2005, Summer Work Experience has helped over 505,000 students.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: John O'Leary, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, 819-654-5611,; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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