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.

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Saanich’s Red Lion Inn receives council’s blessing for extended liquor hours

Extension comes more than two years after a major fire

Province continues to investigate Saanich’s Horticultural Centre of the Pacific

Investigation stems from May 2 incident that turned Colquitz River ‘chocolate brown’

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read