Government Of Canada Helps Saskatoon Youth Prepare For Jobs

by NationTalk on September 22, 2009701 Views

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, – September 22, 2009 -The Government of Canada is providing support to a local employment project that will help youth facing barriers to employment develop a range of skills for the job market. Mr. Maurice Vellacott, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Wanuskewin, 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 all Canadians develop the skills needed to participate and succeed in the job market,” said Mr. Vellacott. “By supporting this project, we are helping Saskatoon youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential.”

Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. (SCYAP) will receive $151,053 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Urban Canvas Project IX, which will help 12 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.

“Saskatchewan’s $152,000 investment in SCYAP, including $20,000 for the Urban Canvas Project, will not only improve employability skills for young people in Saskatoon, it will also help them to increase their self-esteem and confidence,” said the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour for Saskatchewan. “The guidance received in this program will help those young people in their plans for employment or further education and training opportunities.”

“The Government of Canada has been supporting the Urban Canvas Project since its inception in 2001,” said Mr. Darrell Lechman, Executive Director and Founder of Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. “Through personal development, life skills, empowerment and employment skills development, Urban Canvas not only changes lives in a positive way, but, in some cases, has been credited with saving lives. This continued support has been essential to the project’s survival.”

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.

“The City of Saskatoon is very proud to partner with the federal and provincial governments and other agencies to make this program possible,” said Mayor Donald Atchison. “SCYAP has an innovative approach to skills training for vulnerable youth in our community, and provides a positive environment in which youth are able to develop their artistic potential into employable skills. Many of their wonderful projects can be seen throughout Saskatoon, and we are delighted to have given them our support for the past five years.”

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

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, call 1 800 O-Canada, visit or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. is a not-for-profit organization established to address the social, educational and economic needs of youth that face multiple barriers to employment. Between August 27, 2009, and May 28, 2010, the organization’s Urban Canvas Project IX, a skills and personal development program that revolves around community art projects and training, will provide skills building workshops to help 12 youth obtain work or return to school. For more information on the Urban Canvas Project, please visit the following Web site:

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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