Government of Canada makes further investments to help youth facing barriers to employment 

News release

February 12, 2021              North Vancouver, British Columbia              Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s economic recovery depends on young people being able to get good, well-paying jobs in the future. That is why the Government of Canada is continuing to take strong action to ensure that young Canadians have the supports they need to move forward from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully plan for their careers.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, met virtually with representatives from the Hollyburn Family Services Society to highlight their innovative Wired 4 Success project, funded through the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).

Minister Qualtrough announced that, since September 2020, the Hollyburn Family Services Society will have received nearly $460,000 in additional funding, and that the duration of their project will be extended until June 2021. This will allow the organization to continue providing job supports to young people in North Vancouver. In particular, the funding will benefit youth who are facing additional barriers to employment due to the pandemic, and the total number of participants will increase from 146 to 185.

For more than four years, the Hollyburn Family Services Society, through its Wired 4 Success project, has provided targeted skills training and work opportunities for young people who face barriers to employment. Participants have included Indigenous youth, homeless youth, early-leavers from high school, recent immigrants and young people with disabilities. Through case management, group-based employability training and individual enhancement sessions, young people participating in this project have benefited from a wide range of skills, knowledge and work experience in the hospitality, arts, technology and media sectors.

Today’s announcement builds on the commitments made in both the Fall Economic Statement and the Speech from the Throne, which included creating more job opportunities for young Canadians through YESS in response to the pandemic. Taken together, these measures are not only helping to ensure that young people get the financial support they need now, but that they continue to have access to the tools and opportunities that will help them build long and successful careers.


“Every young person deserves a chance to succeed and move forward in their career. The Hollyburn Family Services Society’s project is helping to make sure that no one is left behind due to the pandemic. Through this initiative, young people, from all backgrounds and all walks of life, will have access to the tools and resources they need to find meaningful work. I’m really looking forward to the development of this project and the tremendous impact it will have on the young people in North Vancouver.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Through a variety of programs that it offers, the Hollyburn Family Services Society has changed for the better the lives of many North Shore youth. The Wired 4 Success program in particular is helping young people who face barriers to employment embark on pathways to jobs and careers. Given that the employment impacts of COVID‑19 have fallen disproportionately on Canada’s youth, it is even more important now that we are investing in their future. I salute the work of Hollyburn in helping our community to address these critically important needs.”
– Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson

“For some youth on Vancouver's North Shore, finding and retaining employment is challenging. They lack the skills that today’s employers need. Hollyburn Family Services Society's Wired 4 Success program works with youth with barriers to employment. This hands-on program with wraparound services not only turns youth into desirable employees, it helps local businesses who struggle with labour shortages. Offering this life-changing program in the North Shore community, where youth can access services without crossing over a bridge, is likely why so many youths successfully graduate from Wired 4 Success employed.”
– Hollyburn Family Services Society

Quick facts

  • In April 2020, the Government of Canada invested $492 million over three years through Employment and Social Development Canada’s YESS program for more than 270 projects across Canada to help young people facing barriers to employment.

  • In addition, the Government of Canada announced COVID-19 measures to support young Canadians and students impacted by the pandemic, including an additional investment of $187.7 million to the YESS program to help support an additional 9,500 work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment.

  • The Wired 4 Success project is one of more than 30 YESS projects underway across British Columbia which are helping to ensure that young people have access to job experiences they need for their future careers. The Government of Canada is investing approximately $60 million to support YESS projects across British Columbia over three years.

  • YESS is a horizontal Government of Canada initiative delivered in collaboration with 11 federal departments and agencies, including Employment and Social Development Canada. Launched in the summer of 2019, the modernized YESS integrates the three streams of the former YESS (Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience) into a more integrated and flexible service delivery network. 

  • Since its launch in 2017, this Hollyburn Family Services Society project, Wired 4 Success, will have received up to $2.1 million through YESS to continue to help young people in North Vancouver. In particular, the Wired 4 Success project supports youth who are facing barriers to employment by helping them gain the skills, the work experience and the abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office 
Employment and Social Development Canada
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