Youth KRU - Empowering Youth for a Brighter Future
On a blustery Monday morning in October, sleepy-eyed youth are filing into a brightly lit office on Russell Avenue in White Rock, settling into their chairs. They’re tired from the weekend but enthusiastic about what they’ll learn about today. They are ready for another day of pre-employment training.
The Youth KRU program engages youth, aged 15-30, in life skills-training, certification workshops, and professional development to prepare them to participate in the labour market. Following 6 weeks of training, participants are placed in various community organizations, businesses, and companies to gain work experience. Training topics are not restricted to employment only - participants also learn about financial literacy, effective communication, conflict resolution, self-care, and post-secondary options.
“I feel I’m getting equipped with the right tools and information to perform my best,” shares one participant who is a newcomer to Canada. Another participant stated, “At the end of the four month program, I feel as though my ability to self-motivate will be much improved, and my resume is going to be the best it can be!”
Youth face unique issues when finding meaningful employment. They may be discriminated against in the workplace due to their age and lack of formal work experience. They may also be taken advantage of more easily due to the lack of knowledge around labour rights and proper working conditions. They also experience difficulty in finding work on their own due to limited social networks and confusion around online applications. Lastly, many youth face barriers (such as mental health, homelessness, mental/physical disabilities, and socio-economic barriers) that negatively impact their ability to look for work.
Alexandra Neighbourhood House received funding from the Skills Link program of Canada to deliver the Youth KRU program to 100 youth residing in South Surrey and White Rock over the course of 2½ years. Skills Link is one of 3 programs comprising the Canadian Youth Employment Strategy (YES) aimed at helping youth gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to participate in the labour market.
At their office at 15261 Russell Ave, The Youth KRU program consists of three staff, two facilitators and a job developer who aim to mitigate some of these issues by increasing a youth's’ access to supportive networks, providing employment counselling, sensitizing them to their rights and responsibilities, and connecting them to employers directly.
If you are an employer, or know of an employer who would like to hire a skilled young worker, please contact Mike Taculad at email@example.com.
Applications to the program are accepted 4 times a year for program start times in January, April, July, and October. For more information or to be included in an email list to be informed when applications open, please contact Valerie Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.