A Job Training Program That Works

July 1 st 1986

Ontario's Ministry of Skills Development is offering a training program that helps those who need help the most urgently—young people with no job experience and an unenviable school record.

The Futures program works intensively with the traditionally hard-core unemployed, including school dropouts and youth from poor or broken homes, sometimes with drug, drinking and emotional problems. Eligible are those with less than a grade l2 education who have been jobless for at least 12 weeks, and those with grade 12 or better education who have been unemployed for at least 20 weeks.

Students receive counselling in job interview procedures and training in work skills. Employers agree to train them, and trainees receive the minimum wage from the government program. Studies of the Futures program report a high level of success in the program. Students who otherwise would have great difficulty in obtaining and keeping jobs report that the Futures initial training often leads to full-time employment.

For example, Futures helped Tammberlee Coupal, a sixteen-year-old who dropped out of grade 10 and worked at a number of sales clerk jobs, to find a clerical job with a small building contractor. At the end of the training period, the employer hired her. She is now working a 25-hour week at $7.00 per hour, and studying to catch up on her high school education.

Elizabeth Young, 18, quit school in grade 11, but soon grew bored with a cashier job. Through the Futures program she has received training in secretarial work at a Toronto law office. She will be hired full-time when her temporary Futures contract expires.

 

Harry Antonides came to Canada in 1948, initially working as a farm hand and railway labourer. After over a decade working in a chemical plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Harry joined the newly forming Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) in 1962 as a field representative. By 1970 Harry became director of research and education. In 1974, he was a founding member of the Work Research Foundation (now Cardus) and publisher of their sole publication, Comment magazine. A prolific writer and dynamic speaker, Harry delivered lectures all over North America and published numerous articles, reviews, and essays. He is author of several books on Christianity, labour, and economics, including Multinationals and the Peacable Kingdom (1978) and Stones for Bread: The Social Gospel and its Contemporary Legacy (1985). Harry is retired and lives with his wife Janet in Willowdale, Ontario.

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