PELC’s INSPIRE Program ramping up for mid-April start

GETTING INSPIRED (From Left) INSPIRE Program student Hope and Green Gables owner Diana Cooper at the Bloomfield store in early 2020. (Photo Submitted)

A local work place experience and education initiative for County youth aged 15-30 is offering an intake of new students.

The INSPIRE youth program at Prince Edward Learning Centre brings youth (15-30) together with employers for training, skills development, mentorship and on the job experience. Participants and employers are matched, based on what youth want to learn and employer needs.

“Some youth participants start with zero work experience, while some have amassed a number of skills and experiences but find themselves out of employment,” said Chris Durant, INSPIRE coordinator.

The INSPIRE program is about removing barriers to employment for youth. The program provides training allowances for participants to take workshops, earn credits and certificates while supporting participating employers with placement subsidies for up to four months. The program is currently accepting new applications for the program with a program start date of Mid-April.

“The program engages youth in a broad range of possible career pathways and job experiences. It’s quite amazing to see what youth find employment in and it ranges from the trades, business admin, tourism, hospitality, legal, social services, the arts, culinary, retail, farming, health and fitness to technology and beyond,” said Durant. Current participant, Jeremy Johnson working in a technology placement, with a desire to create games.

“I found myself in contact with theINSPIRE program and that brought both things together – gaming, learning about tech, coding languages, security and figuring it all out and the placement brings it all together. The software the company works with is used for creating games and I have a love and passion for gaming, but I’m also a strong critic as I see flaws in games. It’s my desire to make my own games and from a gamer standpoint I want to make a game that suits gamers. I’m interested in the tech side of things. I’m 28 and I finally found what I want to do.”

“The Inspire program is about connecting youth with what they want their next steps to look like. We are going into the fifth year of the program and it’s the community of employers that step up to make employment possibilities and long term career pathways possible for youth,” added Kathy Kennedy, Executive Director of Prince Edward Learning Centre. David Williams, participating as an employer in the INSPIRE program, and founder of C3 Solutions references his belief in supporting youth employment programs.

“In my career, spanning 30 years, I’ve been a big believer in mentoring. I frequently hire individuals who have talent but lack formal training. Mentoring gives people an opportunity and people who have that level of interest and are following their goals, outside of formal education, are often the most creative. You really need to see that level of interest to evolve.”

“Employers in the program receive a 15 week subsidy to work with an Inspire youth participant. Youth, additionally receive ongoing training and support to help them be job ready and job excited,” added Durant. If you are interested in learning more about the Inspire youth program through Prince Edward Learning Centre, as an employer or as a participant, contact Chris at inspire@pelc.ca or call 613 476 1811.

Youth between the ages of 15 – 30 are encouraged to apply now with the program starting April 13th.

-Staff