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/Scale is for English, French and Aboriginal dropouts who want a second chance to create a bright future. We also accept youth referred by the courts and the juvenile justice system, the RCMP Youth Crime Prevention Program, the John Howard Society and Social Services. Our goal is to retrain youth who have stopped or been abandoned and who create at least 100 net new jobs in Greater Moncton and New Brunswick each year!
The 18-week program includes 20% academic skills and 80% hands-on and practical vocational skills training. Includes essential skills, safe work practices (including all COVID-19 public health guidelines) and employability skills. Among the trades students will be presented are: Restoration and Automotive Service, Truck and Transportation, Storage, Commercial Trailer, Carpentry, Building and Field Keeper, House Holding and Maintenance Building, Electrical Base, Welding, Metal Manufacturing, Pipe Trades, Sheet metal, Heavy Equipment Technician, Hologram Technician, and more.
Many Ladder-Up/Échelle Specialty Lions Club members are tradespeople or career and workforce development experts. By charter, we cannot accept payment for our voluntary mentorship work as Lions. Our members understand students whose learning styles do not align with traditional academic teaching approaches, because many of us were those students years ago, and we are aware of the critical need for more youth in the trades.
Ladder-Up/Échelle is available, at no cost, to youth who have given up on school. It offers 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 is 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.