The federal government is helping equip youth in London and the surrounding area gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs.
Two local organizations are receiving combined funding of over $800,000 to help 130 Canadians with disabilities, and youth in London and Middlesex County. London North Centre MP Susan Truppe announced the funding, under the federal government’s Youth Employment Strategy and Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, on July 30.
“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce, so by investing in them, we are helping contribute to Canada’s long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity,” Truppe said. “We are proud to work with organizations like Youth Opportunities Unlimited and LEADS Employment Services so young people, including those in London and the surrounding area, can develop the skills they need to succeed in the job market.”
Youth Opportunities Unlimited will deliver a project to help 40 young people in the region successfully transition to the job market, or return to school.
Project participants will participate in short courses in fields related to their employment goals, such as construction, trucking, or make-up artistry. After completing their course, they will gain hands-on experience through paid work placements with local employers.
“This project will address two key issues that many youth face in their job search — skills training and work experience,” said Steve Cordes, executive director Youth Opportunities Unlimited. “The 40 young lives will be changed through the training programs and career related work experience.”
In the second project, Leads Employment Services London Inc. will help 90 people with disabilities in London and Strathroy overcome barriers to employment.
Participants will attend group workshops, and gain experience with local employers in retail, manufacturing, and the service industry.
Wendy Lau, CEO at LEADS Employment Services, said the government’s Opportunities Fund has allowed the Workplace Success Program at LEADS to focus and support individuals with disabilities in “enhancing their employability and gaining meaningful and sustainable employment.”
Last year, Lau said, over 60 percent of the Workplace Success Program participants residing in the City of London and Middlesex County secured employment and 25 percent returned to school to pursue their career goals.