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

Warrant issued for man who missed court in Victoria

In 2012 Derek McLean was prematurely released due to a paperwork mistake

Almost 150 hectares purchased for parks in the CRD

Capital Regional District purchases two sites to increase park connectivity

Victoria shatters its oldest temperature record

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps hires new chief of staff

Alison James will take over as head of strategy and operations on April 23

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Crown drops one assault charge against B.C. man linked to human remains probe

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

Most Read