Government of Canada increases support for job skills for Toronto youth

Breaking down barriers for youth including new Canadians and those with disabilities

TORONTO, March 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's prosperity will increasingly depend on young Canadians getting the skills they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow. As part of the government's plan to help youth in the middle class, and those working hard to join it, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced today that over 1,300 Toronto youth will get access to critical training in a wide range of job readiness skills, as well as learn teamwork, organization and communication skills, thanks to a funding increase of over 50% from the Government of Canada. The majority of these youth are expected to be new Canadians and persons with disabilities, who can sometimes face greater employment barriers.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement at Toronto City Hall, accompanied by His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto and Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York.

Toronto Youth Job Corps will receive $11.6 million as part of a partnership between the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, and the private sector. Toronto Youth Job Corps was created by the City of Toronto to provide critical job skills and training to Toronto youth facing challenges and barriers to employment.

The Government of Canada has increased funding by over 50% and extended the funding agreement from one year to three years because it recognizes that the job market is evolving and changing, particularly for young people, making our support more important than ever.

Over a three-year period, until March 2020, youth will get the opportunity to attend one of 21 sessions being offered. These sessions include job training and work experience. Participants will attend workshops and get one-on-one coaching for job search and interview skills. They will take part in a paid, 13-day team project in the community, plus a paid work placement geared to private sector employers lasting an average of 16 weeks.


"I'm proud that our government is increasing our investment in this critical project for Toronto's youth. With support and positive work experiences, young people can thrive, and move from a difficult situation to one of hope for a positive future."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"This funding will help more than 1,300 young people in our city get the skills they need to be competitive in the job market. This partnership project is a great example of how our governments can work together to provide opportunities to our city's youth."
– His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

 "This Skills Link program will have a direct impact on the community. This project will enable youth to gain the necessary skills they need to actively take part in our society and enter the labour market."
Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York

Quick Facts

  • Since its inception, the Skills Link program has helped over 236,000 youth develop skills and gain experience to find a job or return to school.
  • In 2015–2016, ESDC's Skills Link program served 6,024 youth.

Associated Link

Budget 2016


Youth Employment Strategy

Launched in 1997, the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. The YES helps youth between the ages of 15 to 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. YES includes three complementary program streams—Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience­—and is delivered by 11 federal departments and agencies.

  • Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment—including single parents, youth with disabilities, Indigenous youth, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas—to develop employability skills and gain experience they need to find a job or return to school.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Each year, the Government invests approximately $330 million in the YES to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and keep good jobs.

Budget 2016 invested an additional $278.4 million in 2016–17 in the YES to:

  • create new green jobs for youth;
  • increase the number of youth who access the Skills Link program, which helps young Canadians overcome barriers to employment;
  • support employment opportunities in the heritage sector under the Young Canada Works program; and
  • increase the number of jobs for students under the  Canada Summer Jobs program.

Skills Link program

The Skills Link program is a component of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. It promotes education and skills as being key to labour market participation. Through funding for organizations, the Skills Link program helps youth develop a broad range of skills and knowledge in order to participate in the current and future labour market and to overcome barriers to employment. These barriers include, but are not limited to, challenges faced by recent immigrant youth, youth with disabilities, single parent youth, youth who have not completed high school, Indigenous youth, and youth living in rural or remote areas.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Matt Pascuzzo, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,, 819-654-5613; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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