Nov 4, 2010

New program for young parents offers hope for success in the job market

Ottawa, November 4, 2010—An innovative new program to help young parents get past barriers to employment was officially launched today by two partner agencies, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) and the Youville Centre, with the help of the Hon. John Baird, MP for Ottawa-West Nepean.

"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 Minister Baird. "Our government is proud to support projects that offer young parents the opportunity to develop the skills and gain the experience that will help them reach their full potential."

The launch was held at the Youville Centre-a centre offering young single mothers education and support-where 12 young women started their training this week in the new Young Parent Employment Program, funded in part by the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy.

The Young Parent Employment Program is offered by the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa as part of its slate of employment programs for young people.

"This ground-breaking new program will make a real impact in the lives of young single parents who face significant employment barriers," said Alex Munter, YSB executive director. "We are grateful to Service Canada for funding this innovative approach and to the Youville Centre, which was the perfect partner to bring the program to single parents."

"Youville Centre is delighted to offer our clients the option of employment education leading to the world of work," said Youville Centre executive director Judi Sarginson. "Thanks to YSB for partnering with us and to Service Canada for making this initiative possible."

The Young Parent Employment Program is designed to help young parents facing many barriers to gain basic parenting life skills and secure meaningful employment. Through hands-on workshops and 16 weeks of on-the-job work experience, the 15- to 30-year-old young parents will increase their chances of supporting themselves and their families.

YSB, which turns 50 this year, is recognized as Ottawa's go-to resource for youth seeking employment. The agency offers a broad range of services for students and young adults, such as free job search support and placement services, as well as incentives to employers.  YSB's Employment Services connect youth with employers, employment and educational opportunities across the community.

The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa is one of Ottawa's largest youth social service agencies, serving 3,000 youth and families per month in the areas of employment, safe and stable housing, mental health services, and youth justice.

The Youville Centre helps young single mothers provide a brighter future for themselves and their children through the provision of education, childcare, social support and counselling services.

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For more information (media), please contact:

Eva Schacherl
Director of Communications
Youth Services Bureau
613-729-0577 ext. 1215

Lina Harper
Communications officer
Youth Services Bureau
613-729-0577 ext. 1206