If you’re setting out to find your first job, or looking to transition into your first career, or just need support to get back on track to being work-ready, then the Youth Job Connection (YJC) could be right for you!
The YJC is a program made available through the government of Ontario to youth aged 15-29. The focus of the program is for youths who experience multiple and/or complex barriers to employment by providing more intensive support beyond traditional job search and placement opportunities.
What this means is that the YJC is a non-judgemental system that provides both general training and assistance, as well as custom-tailored counselling that can help you overcome your own obstacles to employment. And what’s more, your program leaders can help you track down a placement in your desired industry; a job that meets your specific needs.
The YJC is made available through approved resource centers in the province. ReStart hosts a monthly 3-week YJC program, and can provide additional information about eligibility, scheduling and the program itself if you need to contact us.
What To Expect
The YJC program takes up to 60 hours to complete, for which you are paid for classroom training to learn job search and employment readiness skills.
The 60 hours consists of a variety of both pre-planned and customized activities. You will have time to work on your employment essentials with supervision, such as your resume. ReStart also hosts these for you for the future, in case you ever lose your documents or need us to forward them to an employer on your behalf.
During the workshop you will get to meet with various guest speakers. The speakers will talk to a variety of important life skills and community services that can help you achieve more both in your job search and during your career. Examples include budgeting, clothing and outfitting options for work, and financial aid resources.
Following the classroom training, you will receive a paid job placement. But you will retain your access to mentorship, job coaching and financial support for needs such as transportation, work clothing and tools.
What You Get Out Of It
Some of the benefits of the YJC program are immediately evident. Not only do you get paid, but you are getting paid to work on tangible items such as your resume, cover letters, and references sheets.
Other benefits are less concrete, but just as important to your development. First and foremost, participating in a work-readiness program proves to employers that you are eager to get working, and highly motivated.
Your program leaders will also be able to act as a reference, and can speak to your skills and assets from their personal connection to you in a professional environment. Companies like ReStart also have pre-existing connections with employers in your area, which means their word carries extra weight.
While programs may differ from location to location, you will also be exposed to a variety of speakers who address real life skills that you need to succeed. Being able to harness the resources they discuss makes both job hunting and working that much easier.
Additionally, you will be connected to a job placement to begin work outside the classroom once the program ends. Your program leaders provide support every step of the way for this, from discussing the type of job that fits you, to establishing the connection with employers, to interview rehearsals, and more!
Finally, you will receive financial support for costs related to getting you onboarded with your new employer. This could be anything such transportation costs, clothing and equipment costs, potentially even licensing and documentation costs. And, what’s more, your employer receives compensation for your training and initial hiring phase, making you all the more attractive to potential recruiters.
The Youth Job Connection Summer Program
There is a special version of the YJC which takes place during the summertime, available only to high school students between the ages of 15-18 planning to stay in or return to school, or to move on to post-secondary education.
This particular program provides you with just 20 hours of classroom training on a variety of topics related to work-readiness, but will also place you with a summer job that lasts for up to eight weeks!
This program is designed to fit the schedules of students and still provide a chance to gain experience and receive training through the YJC.
If this sounds like something that would benefit you, then please reach out to us for information on upcoming YJC programs. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis!