At our Job Centre, we give kids the tools they need to find a job and work towards a sustainable income. With regular income and the confidence that comes from contributing to a workplace, youth can achieve lasting independence.
Youth at our shelter must work on a plan, which usually includes full-time work or part-time work while they complete their schooling. The vocational support workers at our Job Centre sit down with our youth to determine their interests, strengths and challenges. They discuss long-term career goals with the youth and walk them through the steps required to realize them. We usually encourage youth to seek entry-level jobs at the outset, while working on building the skills or credentials for higher-level employment.
Youth at the Job Centre come every day to our job lab, where they have access to the Internet, phones and support from our knowledgeable staff. Weekly coaching meetings keep each youth on track. We help our kids build resume packages and give feedback on how they can tailor their job search. We also counsel youth on remaining positive, because finding employment can take time. On interview day, kids are provided appropriate business attire and TTC tokens, along with tips and pep talks.
Youth attend weekly workshops. They learn the skills to find a job, like basic computer training, resume preparation, search strategies and interview skills. We help them retain a job by providing workshops on job expectations and office etiquette. We prepare them with instructional courses on safety and labour laws. We also connect youth with certification courses like Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Excellence in Customer Service or Microsoft Technology Associate (HTML 5).
Our kids face challenges that make finding employment especially difficult. Most of our youth have experienced interruptions in their education or work experience as they dealt with the life challenges that led them to our doors. Many have little recent material to put on their resume. During economic downturns, adults with experience often compete with our youth for jobs that were once considered entry level.
Many of our youth have not had positive adult role models in their lives to teach them the structure and social skills required to acquire and retain a job. Often our youth suffer from a low sense of self-esteem as they’ve struggled to cope with the difficulties in their lives. Without confidence, it is difficult for them to convince an employer to hire them.
Our vocational support workers coach our kids on believing in themselves, recognizing their strengths and visualizing a future where they can reach their goals. They connect youth with skill building and job training to build both their resumes and their self-worth.
Most of the youth that access our Job Centre move on to employment or job training programs.
Building relationships with our youth is the key. When they believe that we believe in them, they gain the confidence they need to succeed. That comes from us being there for them every step of
– Danielle, Support Services Manager
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