Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 14, 2020
Gillian Canniff hosted WorkBC’s Angie Fisher & her colleague Angela, who described their newly funded “Employ! Youth Centre,” a comprehensive employability skills program for youth 16 – 25.  The program is directed to youth who want to work, but face barriers such as anxiety, depression, FASD, poor literacy, or lack of family support, routine, transportation, housing, high school completion or confidence.  Each intake of 12 to 16 participants receives 6 weeks of classroom study, followed by 9 weeks of employment supported by a Job Coach.  Federal funding provides wages, help with barrier issues above, & may also include appropriate clothing for interviews, work gear, training, counselling & mentoring.  Mentors are sought, to job shadow, spend social time with youth, & provide practical encouragement.  Outcomes observed among previous clients include major improvements in confidence, hope, recognition of skills & abilities, coupled with a decrease in anxiety & depression.  Though an expensive program, many participants become valued employees, with better, more productive & balanced lives.