An Enactus program aimed at helping at-risk youth develop better employability skills has received almost $500,000 in funding from the Federal Government. “The Government of Canada is proud to support Saint Mary’s University’s project to provide employability skill training and work placements for at-risk youth in Nova Scotia.
Our government is committed to addressing the broad range of labour market challenges facing youth, including at-risk youth and investing in Saint Mary’s University’s OPtions program is an excellent step in that direction. This project will help atrisk youth find meaningful work experience in their areas of interest, preparing them for future success,” said Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax.
The OPtions (Overcoming Poverty) Youth Program works with at-risk youth through employability skill training and work term placements. The program partners with local businesses to offer young Nova Scotians opportunities to develop their career skills through mentorship, entrepreneurship training, and on the job training. `The funding is a huge accomplishment for the SSBDC and Enactus Saint Mary’s. Through this support, 48 youth participants will have the opportunity to complete the program where they can outline attainable goals relating to their career, education or business aspirations.
OPtions Youth has been a strong pillar of Enactus Saint Mary’s for years, and our team is excited to see the new levels of impact the program will achieve through the support of the Federal Government` said Mitch Harrison, Co-President of Enactus Saint Mary`s.
The OPtions program is divided into three phases:
1. The Personal Development phase, where participants will be equipped with essential life skills from goal setting to presentation, business and leadership skills.
2. The Professional Development phase, where participants begin to understand essential professional skills such as communication, networking and interviewing techniques. They will also, as a group develop and launch a social enterprise as a component of this phase.
3. The Work Experience phase, where participants will be placed in career related job experience for 12 weeks.