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Government of Canada Supports Youth in Skilled Trades and Technologies

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 23, 2010) - Over 550 youth from across Canada competed this past week in more than 40 trade and technology areas at the Canadian Skills Competition. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mr. Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Waterloo, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, congratulated all the participants and outlined the recent measures the Government has taken to support youth employment.

"Our government is committed to helping young Canadians make the transition to the job market," said Mr. Braid. "That is why our 'Jobs and Growth Budget' is creating new employment opportunities for young Canadians by investing $108 million in programs that will help them gain the skills and experience they need."

The federal Youth Employment Strategy's Career Focus and Skills Link programs are part of this investment and will each receive a one-time increase of $30 million. The Strategy helps young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, aquire the information and gain the skills and experience they need to make a successful transition to the workplace.

Additionally, through the Youth Awareness program, which complements the Youth Employment Strategy, the Government of Canada is investing more than $8 million over three years for Skills/Comp├ętences Canada to host annual Canadian Skills Competitions. These events showcase the talents of young competitors and inspire other young people to explore careers in the trades, technologies and service industries.

Promoting careers in the skilled trades prepares our youth for the jobs of tomorrow, and ensures that Canada has the qualified and mobile workforce necessary for a strong economy now and in the future.

"The Canadian Skills Competition is the only national event of its kind that recognizes excellence and raises awareness for skilled trades and technologies as a preferred career path for young Canadians," said Mr. Shaun Thorson, Executive Director, Skills/Comp├ętences Canada. "These competitions would not be possible without the financial support of the Government of Canada, and also enable us to promote the new and emerging technology vocations that are critical to some of the fastest growing industries of Canada's economy."

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 participate in the workforce and contribute to their communities.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada's 2010 "Jobs and Growth Budget" invests in youth initiatives such as the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, to support young entrepreneurs, and the Pathways to Education program, which will provide tutoring, mentoring, counselling and financial assistance to disadvantaged youth and their families.

These initiatives further enhance the success of programs and measures launched by the Government in the first year of Canada's Economic Action Plan, including the Apprenticeship Completion Grant for apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and obtain their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade.

The Youth Employment Strategy 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 its Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. The Youth Employment Strategy comprises three programs: Career Focus, Skills Link and Summer Work Experience. Further information can be found at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

The federal Youth Awareness program, which complements the Youth Employment Strategy, 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. Skills competitions are an excellent example of Youth Awareness projects in action.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.






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