Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Group gets second chance

Struggling to find a place to sleep each night was Jonathan Robert’s main priority in high school, a trend that would continue and spiral out of control when he entered the job market.

Struggling to find a place to sleep each night was Jonathan Robert’s main priority in high school, a trend that would continue and spiral out of control when he entered the job market.

“I was out on the streets panhandling, and the next thing I knew, I was out doing illegal activity. I lived carelessly and found myself in bad situations, often,” he said.

Robert, 29, joins a group of a dozen inner-city youth struggling to enter the workforce, whose resumés are padded by years of homelessness, teenage parenthood, drug abuse, and stints in jail.

A boost of more than $200,000 from the federal government will give the selected group a chance to recognize and hone its “employabilities.”

A 16-week program at the Action for Communities Society of Edmonton called Skills Link will help each participant realize his or her own existing talents, and arm them with skill sets needed to retain employment in a competitive market.

“They need help with simple life skills, not just job training. They’ll get it here,” said MP Laurie Hawn.

“They’re bright young people that may not have had the opportunities that some of us have had.”

Robert said feeling isolated from working-class people his age contributed to difficulty getting a job, adding the new program is a lifesaver.

“I hope to gain stability to become more confident, keep my word, and understand what it is to earn a living.”

 
 
You Might Also Like