Government of Canada helps Alma youth prepare for jobs

ALMA, QC, May 21 /CNW Telbec/ - 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. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), 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 Minister Blackburn. "By supporting this project, we are helping Alma youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential and make their dreams a reality."

The Maison des jeunes d'Alma and the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Lac-Saint-Jean Est will receive $66,814 and $121,543 respectively in federal Skills Link funding to support their projects entitled Vent d'Artiste and Connaître le marché du travail et s'y intégrer. These projects will help 13 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.

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.


Created in 1983, the Maison des jeunes d'Alma is a non-profit organization that offers young people a vibrant place to gather together. Its programs focus mostly on associative living. From March 22 to August 27, 2010, the organization will help six youth facing employment barriers acquire the knowledge, skills and experience they need to enter the labour market, or the motivation to return to school.

The Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Lac-Saint-Jean Est is a non-profit organization that promotes the integration of young people into the labour market. From May 3, 2010, to March 31, 2011, the organization will offer seven youth facing employment barriers an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills through hands-on work experience, in order to help them enter the labour market.

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.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For further information: media only: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Media Relations Office, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819) 994-5559

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