It doesn’t take long for good ideas to come to fruition – on the heels of a workshop on mental health first aid and non-violent crisis intervention a month ago in Rankin Inlet, one of the demands of young people has already materialized.
The Ilinniapaa Skills Development Center held a week-long Youth Employment Strategy (YES) training session at the drop-in center in early May, and the program is expected to continue throughout throughout the summer.
“It’s about learning new skills and developing things in a fun and engaging way, for young people, by young people,” explained Nikolai Kaustinen, program manager at Ilinniapaa.
The week began with the discovery of insights, a personality assessment tool that helped young people learn more about themselves and others, as well as their view of the world.
“When we started the journey to the ideas…many young people weren’t quite sure how well they fit,” Kaustinen said, adding that as the course progressed, many of the initial assumptions made by the young people have changed.
The youth also completed Level 1 food safety training and learned how to interview for jobs, write resumes and write cover letters.
Kaustinen said one of the youngsters has submitted resumes and has already received interviews, which is exactly what Kaustinen is looking for.
“The ultimate goal of the program is to help them find internships, in which case they would be guaranteed $21 an hour and the employer would actually receive a salary reimbursement,” he explained, noting that the program is funded by the Government of Canada.
Youth also received $16 an hour to participate, and four were on their way to be trained as program facilitators throughout the summer. They will run the program three times a week – Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as Saturday lunchtimes – for any young people who want to develop their skills and get paid to do so.
Bailey Green was on her way to becoming one of the youth leaders. She was hesitant to participate in the YESS program at first, but took a chance on a friend’s suggestion.
“It’s going pretty well,” she said. “It’s quite interesting. All the information they gave us is very useful for the real world.
She will graduate in 2023 and is looking forward to putting her new skills to good use.
“It teaches you a lot of things that could help you in the future if you’re looking for a job or thinking about going to school,” Green said. “That can give you a good idea of what you want to do.”
Kaustinen said the seven youngsters who participated were excellent.
“I think writing CVs and writing cover letters was something new for most of the young people who participated, so of course there are challenges that come with new things, but they all followed these formations in a fantastic way,” he said. said.
Summer training sessions will also include teaching traditional skills, such as building a qamutik, drum dancing, Inuit games and more. Kaustinen hopes to include lessons on sexual health, domestic violence and partner with the RCMP. Classes will run three days a week at the Welcome Center, with a break in mid-summer before resuming as the new school year approaches.
Any interested Indigenous, LGBTQS, or disabled youth between the ages of 15 and 30 can come to the Welcome Center with their SIN on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. or Saturday at 10 a.m., or email [email protected]
Kaustinen thanked the Hamlet, Fishing, Co-op and Home Hardware for their donations to the project.