Specialty Lions Club

Youth with less than high school education are particularly hard hit by COVID-19. In fact, workers with a high school diploma or less have sustained nearly half of the COVID-related job losses in Canada since February 2020.

School systems are now urgently developing plans that respect COVID-19 public health directives for the 2020-21 school year. In New Brunswick, 50% of high school students will be in school and the other 50% will attend virtually, alternating every second day. Under COVID-19 with online, virtual academic lessons every second day, more students may give up.

Ladder-up/Échelle Trades Sampler Program

Ladder-Up/Échelle is for anglophone, francophone, and indigenous school dropouts who want a second chance to create a good future. We will also accept youth referred by the courts and juvenile justice system, the RCMP Youth Crime Prevention Program, the John Howard Society, and Social Services. We recycle young people who have quit or been discarded to create at least 100 net-new jobs in Greater Moncton and SE New Brunswick every year!

Detailed lesson plans have been developed and approved by the Regional Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification office at NB Community College. The 18-week program comprises 20% academic skills and 80% practical, hands-on job skills training. Included are Essential Skills, Safe Work Practices (including all COVID-19 public health directives), and Employability Skills. Among the trades students will be introduced to are: Automotive Restoration and Service, Truck and Transport, Warehousing, Commercial Trailer, Carpentry, Building and Grounds Keeper, Building House Keeping and Maintenance, Basic Electrical, Welding, Metal Fabrication, Pipe Trades, Sheet Metal, and Heavy Equipment Technician.


All Ladder-Up/Échelle Specialty Lions Club members are tradespeople or career and workforce development experts who, by charter, cannot accept payment for their voluntary mentorship work as Lions. They understand students whose learning styles do not align with traditional academic teaching approaches, because many were those students years ago, and they are aware of the critical need for more youth in the trades.

We hope Ladder-Up/Échelle will soon be available, at no cost, to youth who have given up on school. It will offer them a lifeline, or ‘ladder up,’ to equitable access to a good career and lifestyle. For those willing to make a sincere effort, Ladder-Up/Échelle can be a portal from exclusion to inclusion. The economic and human benefits of converting those labeled as ‘losers’ to productive workers and engaged, contributing citizens are inestimable.

As a Ladder-Up/Échelle Specialty Lions Club member, I am proud to volunteer to mobilize educators, employers, community partners, and government agencies to make this program available to marginalized youth beginning in Fall 2020.

© 2020 Phil Jarvis.

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