The federal government is investing $95,000 in the Five Hills Health Region’s Transitions Employment Program.
“The program prepares youth with barriers for employment by offering lessons in life skills and employment readiness,” explained Mary Lee Booth, a director at the health region and spokesperson for the program.
“They attend the program for nine weeks, and during those nine weeks they learn different life and employment skills and how to apply the information through practice.”
“The main thrust is to allow young people to learn some skills to make them more employable,” said Palliser MP Ray Boughen, who announced the investment in a press release earlier this week.
On top of the typical job readiness skills like resume writing and interview techniques, Booth said the Transitions Employment Program also equips its participants with essential life skills.
The importance of learning life skills is high for most of the program’s participates, “who have had barriers for whatever reason ... (and) haven’t had the opportunity to learn about their strengths and optimize them,” she said.
The barriers Booth is referring to are those of mental or physical illness, legal issues or problems with substance abuse, she said.
The investment from the federal government will go “right toward resources required to keep the program running,” Booth said, including paying the program’s two employees and purchasing materials required to run the courses.
Booth said the federal government’s support has not gone unnoticed by the program.
“We absolutely commend the government of Canada and its Youth Employment Strategy ... we really recognize their commitment,” she said.
Boughen said the work being done by the program is equally commendable.
“The emphasis is on teamwork and leadership ... Young people build ties with those employed (in industry) so they get to build some connections,” he said.
“With this program, the real proof is in the pudding.”