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NL Workforce
Innovation Centre

Choices for Youth (CFY) and The Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) have been working on a research project, “Applied Research on Supportive Training, Social Enterprise, and Employment First Practices” since January 2019. This project aims to evaluate the impact that wrap-around supports and employment training can have on the life of a young person.

CFY’s Department of Education, Employment, and Social Enterprise (EESE) took the lead on this project and received grant funds to research and build capacity for the employment development of young people aged 16-29 in NL. 

Rory Lambert, [former] Training and Employment Lead

“All of the work with NLWIC helped us move things forward and really helped us serve young people and see more young people come through our doors and experience big wins, but also experience little wins, and we celebrate those as much as we do the big ones.”

The funding provided through this partnership opened several new doors for EESE. It enabled them to expand their training team and develop new training programs and opportunities for young people, like Lifework Education Applied Practice (LEAP) training. EESE now maintains a full training calendar for the year and the training is more diverse and specialized. Because of this expansion, more young people are engaging with EESE training programs than ever before.

CFY’s partnership with NLWIC is also making an impact outside of the St. John’s Metro area. One of the major deliverables of the NLWIC project was to run three training programs in communities across the province, with the stipulation that the communities must be located off the Avalon peninsula. CFY partnered with three different organizations during its three years of work on this project – SmartICE, Food First NL, and Mokami Status of Women Council. These partnerships allowed CFY to apply the training programs and business practices developed by EESE to other social enterprises in NL, empowering other communities to provide supportive training and skill development opportunities to young people.

Rory Lambert, [former] Training and Employment Lead

“The grant gave us extra capacity to go ‘What does a trades and construction training program look like? What does a food training program look like?’ Some of those we had prototyped before, but we were able to really refine them this time around.”

The project culminated at the NL Youth Employment & Education Summit hosted in Corner Brook in November 2022. This event brought together partners from the private sector, post-secondary institutions, training agencies, social enterprises, and government. Representatives from CFY’s EESE team were eager to connect with their peers to share their learnings and compare notes from the three years of research conducted in partnership with NLWIC.

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