Pilot program helps Alberta youth find good jobs

Above: Labour Minister Christina Gray speaks to Pradeep Balasubramanian, a Prospect GenA client who is looking for employment through the program.

by Morinville News Staff

The government says its new $1.7-million youth employment partnership will help as many as 350 young Albertans find work as well as prepare hundreds more to join the labour force.

To date, almost 100 Albertans have found jobs through the GenA program, a partnership between the Government of Alberta and Prospect Human Services. The program was started last summer in Edmonton and Calgary as a way to help Albertans between the ages of 18 and 30 gain employment. At the same time, the program was a way to show employers the benefits of hiring youth.

The government expects the two-year pilot project to help more than 1,200 youth, placing 350 into direct jobs.

“Our government is working hard to make life better for Alberta’s youth by helping them find good jobs in a diversified economy,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour in a release Tuesday. “Young people make important contributions to our economy but are often an untapped talent pool. This project is preparing youth for success in the job market while also helping employers tap into the next generation of hardworking Albertans.”

Melanie Mitra, CEO of Prospect Human Services, the governments partner in the initiative said a job is more than a paycheque because it empowers a person to fully participate in society.

“The GenA program reflects our belief that Alberta’s young people are our most valuable resource. They are the key to our future. For us, we’re not just launching a service; we’re launching careers.”

GenA provides tailored supports and resources to youth ages 18 to 30, including placement and retention supports for finding suitable employment, the development of essential skills, as well as the creation of employment action plans.

So far 165 employers are using the program to find and recruit youth, and more than 65 employers have accessed consultation services for the attraction and retention of youth workers.

GenA also works with Alberta employers to help them attract, recruit and retain youth by providing specialized consultation services, helping employers develop youth engagement strategies and connecting employers directly with GenA clients.

Visit http://www.gena.works for more info.

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