TeenWorks showcase mark one year of the project’s expansion

CanAssist hosts Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Teens and government came together Monday as the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, visited CanAssist at the University of Victoria met with students to hear firsthand experiences from the TeenWork program to mark the first anniversary of the project’s expansion.

“A job is more than just a way to earn money. We know that’s a very big part of having a job, but it’s also being part of a community, feeling that you have purpose… I felt that coming through all those young people today,” said Hajdu.

RELATED: UVic’s CanDo app the Post-it note for the modern age

Through the Skills Link program, the Government of Canada provides over $2.1 million to CanAssist to support 80 youth with disabilities in Victoria and Vancouver in developing skills they need to get a foothold in the labour market.

TeenWork was developed in 2009 to address the need for employment support among youth with disabilities while they’re still in high school.

“I work with a lot of young people myself and I could tell you it’s the innovation and the ingenuity of young people that helps us excel at everything we do,” said Hajdu.

TeenWork provides hands-on sessions to teach participants how to develop effective resumes, write cover letters, excel in interviews and practice appropriate workplace behavior. Teens also learn about readiness, covering areas such as hygiene, work attire and transportation.

RELATED: Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

After a job is secured, TeenWork job coaches shadow each youth to ensure that he or she fully understands workplace responsibilities and are able to master tasks. As the teen becomes more comfortable, the job coach gradually withdraws on-site support, eventually providing only periodic check ins.

“This is one of my favourite programs that I have the honor of working on,” said Hajdu “I fundamentally went into the politic because I believe everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed,” said Hajdu.

Over the years, participants have included teens with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, mental health challenges and physical disabilities.

Participants typically achieve increased financial independence, important life skills, a positive work ethic, optimism about the future and an attitude of “I can work and contribute” improving overall self-esteem and health status.

According to Statistics Canada only 32 per cent of those aged 15 to 24 across the country are employed, compared to 65 per cent in the same age group without disabilities.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps despite court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Upgrades for Colwood’s Brook Creek Dam pouring in

Improvements to mitigate risks for residents

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Most Read