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PELC inspires youth to find rewarding career path

Sixty residents will have the opportunity to understand more about their strengths and interests, set learning goals, develop skill plans and set off on career paths for rewarding work.

Through the Prince Edward Learning Centre (PELC), participants are invited to ‘INSPIRE’ a three-year program offering pre-employment training and career development opportunities for those aged 15 to 30.

The INSPIRE program has helped area youth complete high school credits, get into college, gain workplace certifications like First Aid and Smart Serve, obtain driver’s licenses and government ID, and connect with mental health services.

The program is designed for youth facing barriers to education and employment.

“Barriers can mean many things”, said Christine Durant, INSPIRE Coordinator. “It might mean that you don’t have your Grade 12, or that transportation is an issue, or even that you’ve never had employment training and are lacking in some of the skills that are needed to maintain employment”.

A previous INSPIRE graduate credits the program with helping her move forward.

“I’m a single mom with two kids. Before INSPIRE I didn’t have too much work experience so the training program gave me the skills and confidence I felt I was lacking. The INSPIRE staff really helped with that. They were very motivating, understanding of my barriers and they never gave up on me,” she said. “The INSPIRE program definitely gave me the opportunity to experience the ideal career path that I always wanted to pursue.”

Her placement at Community Living Prince Edward confirmed she had chosen her correct career path.

“I worked in the day program supporting vulnerable people. The work has made me feel fulfilled and complete. As a result, I’ve gone back to college. The paid training helped me and my family and allowed me to work on college preparation courses.”

Durant said the reality for many young people returning to the County is job stagnation.

“Some come back to support ailing family members and can’t finish their education. An INSPIRE graduate joined the program after returning home to Picton to take care of elderly parents in the community. Facing financial and family challenges, she had dropped out of school but through the program she found the rare opportunity to pursue a writing career.”

“The personal successes of INSPIRE participants are inspiring”, said Prince Edward Learning Centre Executive Director, Kathy Kennedy. “Students gain work experience while pursuing their educational
goals and making great connections with County businesses and organizations. We are glad to start this program now, in spite of the challenges posed by Covid 19.

Durant notes the first sessions will start virtually, learning skills for online work and safe practices for physical distancing at work.

“We are looking forward to working with employers who can provide on-site job experience, mentorship and and help implement a skill development plan for program participants.”

The program is an opportunity for employers as well as youth, as it provides a wage subsidy that pays employers over the 16-week work placement. Recent graduates have had positive work experiences with a number of local employers, including The Hub Child Care Centre, Parsons Brewing Co., and Shantz Towing to name a few.

INSPIRE students are looking for new work placements as early as June. Interested potential students, as well as employers, are encouraged to call Prince Edward Learning Centre to learn more 613 476 1811 ext 105 or email inspire@pelc.ca .

Click here to learn earn more about PELC and its services 

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