Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Government of Canada helps Aboriginal youth prepare for jobs on Vancouver Island

Port Alberni, B.C., March 27, 2009—Aboriginal youth facing barriers to employment are getting valuable job preparation training thanks to the Government of Canada's investment in a local employment project. Mr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni, 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 young Canadians develop the skills that will help them participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Lunney. "This project will help Aboriginal youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their potential."

The Nuu-chah-nulth Employment Training Program (NETP) will receive over $95,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its BladeRunners project. This project will provide 36 Aboriginal youth facing multiple employment barriers with life and employability skills training to help them prepare for jobs or return to school.

"We are pleased to work in partnership with the federal government on this initiative," said Dr. Michelle Corfield, Vice-President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. "This funding will enable NETP to assist in addressing the socio-economic disparity that exists for First Nations people in BC and Canada."

The federal government is working in partnership with stakeholders to make sure that Canadians get the training, skills and opportunities they need to participate in the work force and contribute to the quality of life in their communities.

"In addition to 24/7 support for at-risk youth, the BladeRunners project focusses on multi-level partnerships and long-term attachments to careers," said Mr. Darcy McDiarmid, Director of BladeRunners and Provincial Coordinator for A.C.C.E.S.S. "The financial contribution from Service Canada demonstrates that the Public Private Partnership Model used for the BladeRunners project really works."

Skills Link is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible work force in the world.The Government underscored this commitment in January when it introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development.

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, go on the Internet at servicecanada.gc.ca or visit your local Service Canada Centre.


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