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Government of Canada Supports Careers in Skilled Trades and Technology for Alberta Youth

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2010) - Parliamentary Secretary Ed Komarnicki, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced today that young people from across the province are set to showcase their talents in the skilled trades and inspire others to learn more about careers in the trades and technology sectors. The Government of Canada is investing $130,215 in funding towards this project.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that young Canadians have the skills and information they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Komarnicki. "By supporting the the 2010 Alberta Provincial Skills Canada Competition, and others like it, our government is taking action to help youth reach their full potential."

The Government is a strong supporter of Skills Canada and its provincial and territorial chapters, which host annual skills competitions and promote careers in skilled trades and technology to Canadian youth. From November 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010, Skills Canada Alberta (SCA) will promote awareness of career opportunities available in skilled trades and technology fields. The public is invited to cheer on the high-school and post-secondary competitors at the 2010 Alberta Provincial Skills Canada Competition, which runs May 12-13, at the Edmonton Expo Centre, Edmonton, Alberta.

"Skills Canada programs create a bridge between students and leaders of the Skills Movement that drive our economy," notes Chris Browton, Executive Director, Skills Canada Alberta. "Shining the spotlight on the next generation of skilled talent reinforces the importance of trade and technology careers."

Through Canada's "Jobs and Growth Budget", the Government of Canada invested $108 million over three years to assist young people looking to gain skills and experience. As part of that investment, the Youth Employment Strategy's (YES) Career Focus and Skills Link programs will receive a one-time increase of $60 million to help more young Canadians while the economy recovers. YES helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment gain the skills and experience they need to make a successful transition to the workplace.

YES 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

Skills Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Through provincial, national and international skills competitions, the organization helps make these careers more visible to teachers, students, parents and the general public. The organization's unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding career opportunities.

The Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES) aims to help young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information, skills and work experience they need to make a successful transition to the workplace. YES includes three components: Career Focus, Skills Link, and Summer Work Experience.

The federal Youth Awareness program complements the Youth Employment Strategy and targets projects that respond to specific labour market requirements and adjustments over time, and aims to promote youth as the workforce of the future among recipients, employers, communities and young Canadians. The 2010 Alberta Provincial Skills Competition is an excellent example of a Youth Awareness project in action.

In addition to the $60 million for YES programs, the 2010 "Jobs and Growth Budget" introduces several youth-specific measures, including:

    * $10 million to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to support its work with Canada's young entrepreneurs;
    * $20 million for Pathways to Education Canada in support of disadvantaged youth; and
    * $30 million over two years to ensure that First Nations children receive the education they require for success.

Canada's Economic Action Plan introduced several youth-specific initiatives, including:

    * an increase of $20 million over two years for Canada Summer Jobs;
    * a $15 million grant to the YMCA and YWCA, which is being used to create approximately 800-1,000 youth internships with non-profit and community organizations;
    * a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant available to apprentices who successfully complete an apprenticeship program in a Red Seal trade. This represents an investment of $40 million per year; and
    * an additional $87.5 million over three years to temporarily expand the Canada Graduate Scholarships program.





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