Government of Canada provides skills training and job opportunities for 600 young Canadians in Barrie area    

News release

November 12, 2018                    Barrie, Ontario                    Employment and Social Development Canada

Building a strong middle class means giving Canada’s youth the tools they need to find and keep good jobs.

Today, Marco Mendicino, Member of Parliament for Eglinton–Lawrence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced funding that will help young Canadians develop their skills and get hands-on work experience.

The Government of Canada will provide funding to the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka for its Youth Quest project through the Skills Link program. Over the 24 months of the project, up to 600 young people will receive training and gain employability skills through work experience in the Bradford, Wasaga Beach, Huntsville, Barrie and Orillia areas. During their work experience, they will be placed in such fields as construction, manufacturing, retail/wholesale, accommodation and food service and general office/customer service.

Indigenous youth, those with disabilities, visible minorities and recent immigrants, including about 360 females, are taking part in the project.

Skills Link supports projects that help young people who face more barriers to employment than others get employability skills and gain valuable job experience, which, in turn, helps them make a successful transition into the workforce or go back to school. This could include youth who have not completed high school, single parents, Indigenous youth, youth with disabilities, newcomers or youth living in rural or remote areas.


“We know that our communities are healthier and stronger when everyone can fully participate. Supporting youth as they transition into the workforce and giving them the training they need to succeed is a key way in which we can grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka should be congratulated for instituting its Youth Quest project and reaching out to hundreds of young people who face barriers to getting a job. It’s this kind of program that gives youth a real leg up in the job market.”

– Marco Mendicino, Member of Parliament for Eglinton–Lawrence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is committed to improving the lives of youth in our communities. Through the Youth Quest program, our local youth are given the guidance and skills needed to succeed in the job market. This funding from Skills Link will allow us to continue to offer these life-changing opportunities to our youth and open doors to their future. We are very thankful to receive this support."

– Rob Armstrong, CEO, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has provided funding of over $6.5 million over two years to the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s Youth Quest project. Funding is provided through the Skills Link program.

  • Canada’s future prosperity depends on young people getting the education and work experience they need to succeed. Each year, the Government invests over $330 million in the Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.

  • Through Budget 2018, the Government is providing an additional $448.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to the Youth Employment Strategy. This funding will support the continued increase of the number of job placements funded under the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2019–20.

  • Budget 2017 invested an additional $395.5 million over three years. Combined with Budget 2016 measures, these investments will help:

    • more than 33,000 vulnerable youth develop the skills they need to find work or go back to school;
    • create 15,000 new green jobs for young Canadians; and
    • provide more than 1,600 new employment opportunities for youth in the heritage sector.

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