News Local

Barrie MPP announces extension of training program

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth dropped into the Barrie Career Centre in Bayfield Mall on Thursday to show her support for helping at-risk youth find jobs. From left, back row, are Hoggarth, Simcoe County District School Board chairman Peter Beacock and Debbie Foll, of the career centre. In the front row, from left, are students Tristan Dennis, Jaclyn Langman, Michael Coleman and Jason Whiteside.IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth dropped into the Barrie Career Centre in Bayfield Mall on Thursday to show her support for helping at-risk youth find jobs. From left, back row, are Hoggarth, Simcoe County District School Board chairman Peter Beacock and Debbie Foll, of the career centre. In the front row, from left, are students Tristan Dennis, Jaclyn Langman, Michael Coleman and Jason Whiteside.IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

Local businesses are being encouraged to give area youth a hand up to gain job experience through the province's Youth Job Connection program.

Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth was at the Simcoe County District School Board's Career Centre in the Bayfield Mall on Thursday to announce an extension of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities program.

The government will be investing $250 million over the next two years to help 150,000 more young people with multiple barriers to employment.

To qualify, they must not currently be working or in school and not be enrolled in another training program.

The program will give them access to paid pre-employment training, job opportunities and mentorship programs through Youth Job Connection.

But area businesses need to step up to help out, according to Career Centre co-ordinator Anne Hutton.

"We welcome the employer community to join us in this program. Their involvement is integral not only to the success of the program but to our youth of today and our labour force of tomorrow," she said.

"Through the program design, employers are provided with a wage incentive to ensure their investment in the youth of their communities offsets their orientation and training costs training a youth who has already received pre-employment training," Hutton added.

Young people who access the program will come to the job ready to work with at least 60 hours of paid pre-employment training. Both youth and employers will receive ongoing support from an employment counsellor to help each job placement succeed, she said.

“I strongly encourage young people who are facing multiple barriers to employment or who need support transitioning from high school to work to access the Youth Job Connection services in our community,” Hoggarth said.

Tristan Dennis is taking part in the program.

"They help us determine what social and communications skills we have and what skills we need to improve," he said.

Jaclyn Langman, another participant, said the Youth Job Connection will give her the tools she needs to gain employment and also lead a better life.

"We get advice about problem solving, conflict management and time-management skills, things that will be helpful in all aspects of life," she said. "We're bringing our past life experiences to the training program and using those to teach others."

The Youth Job Connection program is being offered in Barrie, Orillia, Cookstown, Innisfil, Bradford, Alliston and Angus.

To learn more, visit www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employmentontario/youthjobconnection.

ian.mcinroy@sunmedia.ca



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