Lisa Hollingsworth

Lisa Hollingsworth

Open house highlights skills learned in employment program

It’s an age-old problem: to get a job you need experience, to get experience you need a job.

By David Thielen

It’s an age-old problem: to get a job you need experience, to get experience you need a job. It’s even tougher in today’s job market where in many fields there is no shortage of qualified candidates.

Well, in Ponoka, if you are between the ages of 17 and 30 years of age, and you are lacking either the experience or the training, then the Rebrand Skills and Employment Initiative for Young Adults may be an avenue to gain that training and experience.

“We provide a 17-week program that is designed to get that all-important experience and training,” said Lisa Hollingsworth, program coordinator at ReBrand in Ponoka. “It starts with 10 weeks of in-class training, and then there are seven weeks of on the job training. “

At an open house held at their office on July 14, the latest group of participants got a chance to show what they had learned over the 10 weeks of in-class training by giving a power point presentation.

Hollngsworth said that what is really great about the presentation is that prior to the course, some of the participants had no computer experience, and no public speaking skills. And now they are getting up in front of a group of strangers and giving a power point presentation.

This is the third group of clients to finish the program since September 2014, said Hollingsworth. Out of the first group, eight of the nine participants got jobs. From the second intake, four out of the nine received job offers.

“While the third intake is just starting the job search portion of the course, one already has a job and another has a job interview, so it is really working,” said Hollingsworth.

Participants are paid minimum wage by the Canadian government during the training, and employers can receive up to a 50 per cent subsidy on people they hire from the program.

“This gives them a chance to see how great our participants are, with minimal financial risk,” said Hollingsworth.

The next intake will be in October, “but anybody that is interested is encouraged to contact us now,” she concluded.