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Governments of Canada and Manitoba Help Youth, Low-Income Individuals and Immigrants in Winnipeg Prepare for Labour Market

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2010) - Local youth along with low-income individuals and immigrants who face barriers to employment will get job-preparation training and work experience through federal-provincial funding of $356,102 for an employment project.


The Honourable Peter Bjornson, Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade for Manitoba, and Mrs. Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government is taking steps to ensure youth, low-income individuals and immigrants have the tools they need to succeed, such as education, employment training, and career development," said Minister Bjornson. "We recognize the importance of promoting skills development to ensure Manitobans have an opportunity to share in all economic opportunities."

"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 Mrs. Glover. "By supporting this project, we are helping Winnipeg youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

The Victor Mager Parent Association will receive $234,106 from the Province of Manitoba, through the departments of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade, and Labour and Immigration, towards the Job Re-entry Program to assist low-income individuals and immigrants.

The Association will also receive $121,996 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Job Re-entry Program, which will help up to 10 youth, who have recently immigrated to Canada and are 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. 

"Our organization is delighted to receive such support from two levels of government," said Ms. Joan Embleton, Executive Director of the Victor Mager Parent Association. "With this funding, our participants are able to gain skills in so many areas that will allow them to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible."

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are working together to provide Manitobans with the training, skills and opportunities they need to get jobs and contribute to their communities.

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

The Victor Mager Parent Association is a non-profit, community-based, community-sponsored and community-focused organization that has been in operation since 1996. The Association provides employment assistance services to youth and adults, in addition to settlement orientation for newcomers to Winnipeg and services for people needing to improve their English language skills. Between April 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, the organization will help 10 youth who have recently immigrated to Canada, as well as up to 40 low-income individuals, develop the broad range of skills and work experience they need to participate in the job market. Participants will have the opportunity to develop hands-on experience through work placements, and will take part in a variety of life and employability skills workshops.

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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