Manitoba launches programs directed at youth

3-year mentoring project involves employers, schools

Manitoba has launched several programs to help keep Manitoba youth engaged in school, active in their communities and supported with the tools they need to succeed.

Manitoba Mentors — Connecting Learning and Work was launched in September at seven schools across Manitoba. Working in partnership with the Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils, the three-year pilot project will see students matched with employers who will provide group mentoring, speakers’ panels, site visits to employers and businesses, small group discussions and one-to-one mentoring through job shadowing, internships and job placements.

“We’re thrilled to be part of Manitoba Mentors, an exciting new program that helps students gain further knowledge with regards to the requirements and expectations of their professional interests and aspirations,” said Mike Wake, principal of Westwood Collegiate.

Work2it will offer supports to youth facing multiple personal barriers to training and employment. Starting as a pilot this fall in Winnipeg and The Pas, Work2it will provide pre-employment training, job coaching and employment opportunities for at-risk youth through partnerships with two community organizations, New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families in Winnipeg and FireSpirit in The Pas. The program will expand over the next three years and at full capacity will serve up to 345 youth.

The new Youth Making a Difference Grant Programs will provide students and youth working with educators or adult supervisors from youth-serving organizations with up to $1,000 to develop and implement social-justice and community development projects in their schools and communities. The program will offer an opportunity for youth to develop and practise skills including leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.

“These programs — Work2it, Youth Making a Difference Grant Programs and Manitoba Mentors -Connecting Learning and Work — will help get our high-school students and youth on the path to success,” said Premier Greg Selinger. “Our youth are our future and we need to keep investing in programs that help them achieve their full potential. Ensuring they have access to education and supports to stay on the right track will build a stronger Manitoba for all of us.”

These programs will complement another new youth program, modelled on the successful Chicago After School Matters program, he said. It will see the Manitoba government partner with businesses, professional associations and community organizations to provide high school students with after-school training and apprenticeship opportunities in fields such as sports, performing arts, technology, communications and science.

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