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Government of Canada Helps Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Prepare for Jobs

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(eMediaWorld - April 20, 2010) - 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. Mr. Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, 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 Mr. Woodworth. "By supporting this project, we are helping Kitchener-Waterloo youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

Ray of Hope will receive $135,520 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Morning Glory Cafés project, which will help eight 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.

"We are very pleased that Service Canada is continuing to partner with us in support of our Youth Employment Services and Morning Glory Café and Bakery, in particular," said Ms. Debbie Woodhall, Director of Finance, Ray of Hope. "As we look forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer, it is reassuring to know that our community values the efforts being taken to help youth learn the necessary life skills and job skills that will prepare them for permanent employment and making a positive contribution to our society."

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 www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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 www.servicecanada.gc.ca, call 1 800 O-Canada or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Backgrounder

Ray of Hope provides social services to young men and women who struggle with crime, addiction or homelessness issues. The organization offers youth justice, youth employment, youth addiction and community support services in a safe and inviting environment. Between April 6, 2010, and October 2, 2010, through its Morning Glory Cafés project, Ray of Hope will help eight youth facing barriers to employment acquire the skills and experience they need to make the transition to the labour market or return to school. Participants will take part in life and employability skills workshops and work experience placements, allowing them to gain experience in the hospitality and retail sectors.

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.






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