What is the overall impact of the initiative and how is this measured?
The HYPE Program’s goal is that 70% of individuals in the program become employed or return to school after completing the program.
– Estimated 10-%20% of participants are expected to not complete the program
– We are meeting these targets.
We generate success by showing individuals that we care about them. If we can make personal relationships and build trust with our clients, we can show them we have hope that they can be successful.
Not everyone is ready for work – we try to find the students who want the program for all the right reasons. We also use a tough love approach with our clients – if they’re not here to work, put in the effort, and get the most out of our program, we won’t see any reasons to reach out to employers on their behalf.
What challenges have you faced and how were these overcome?
When the program first started, we really pushed clients into the work placement component of the program – but is 4 weeks really enough to know someone and what they want? We’ve since shifted to focus on the challenges they faced
– We are challenging the assumption that people will be placed in the career they want for the rest of their life (this is not the case)
– We encourage our clients to explore their career options to make career decisions. We want to get them to recognize the pros or cons of a role, or the skills and experience that can transfer from one position to the next. You need to start from somewhere, you have to pick a place to start from, but it can lead to other opportunities.
o E.g. trades can be easier to enter from the program, whereas for certain roles like childcare, clients need an ECE certification before they can get a working placement
We are trying to get as much as we can into the 4 weeks of pre-employment without tiring out participants. We’re at a stage now with the program where things are going well.
What are 3 key lessons you learned from developing or delivering your initiative? What advice from those lessons would you share with others?
On a personal note, I got into this position wanting to help everyone – but I realized that I can’t help everyone. You want to go above & beyond for each and every client, but clients may not be receptive or open to your help. Clients may not be successful.
– It is a great reward when clients are successful
You need to have a lot of patience – quite often in this work you’re waiting on someone or something (e.g., clients, 3rd party).
Incorporation of Essential Skills
Which Essential Skills are covered by the initiative?
Working with Others
How are the Essential Skills integrated into your initiative?
Skills Nova Scotia does an ES challenge with the clients – these are games based around essential skills that are done at the beginning of the program. We’re wanting to add piece at the end as refresher to show clients the skills you can build on.
We incorporate essential skills into the HYPE program through different workshops or activities, such as
• Apprenticeship 101 – learn about trades and ES
• Workshops to practice teambuilding and oral communication
• Work with clients on resumes (computer and document use)
What are the components of the initiative?
Occupational certifications and/or licensing
Work-integrated learning (i.e., internships, co-ops, work placements, etc.)
Career and/or educational planning
Job search services
Cultural, language, and tradition awareness and/or training
How do you support participant success in the program?
Child care support
Food allowance and/or on-site meals
Work related clothing/equipment
Job retention support
Access to other in-house services
After program follow-up support
How was Indigenous culture integrated into the program content or delivery?
We have cultural days where we bring in an elder to talk about intergenerational trauma (e.g., residential schools). Elders will also come in to tell stories or share their experience.
The cultural component of the HYPE Program is different for each community. It depends on what the area has, what we can use, and who we can bring in For example, in Cape Breton where there is a large population that are regularly speaking in Mi’kmaq, the culture may not be the biggest focus (they are teaching me). There are areas that need it more – I will speak Mi’kmaq in Liverpool to help with basic language and counting.
The cultural component also depends on participants and if they want to do it.
We incorporate smudging – we try to smudge every Friday at the beginning and end of the day.
What do you think are the most important competencies and attributes for staff involved in this initiative to have?
• General understanding of the program and what to make of it
• Willingness to go above & beyond for their clients
• Positive attitude
• Ability to make the space welcoming for every client
Who are your partners, and what is their involvement in the initiative?
Skills Nova Scotia – works on the ES component of the program during the 4 weeks of pre-employment
Nova Scotia Community College
Employers – locally owned businesses, or corporate
Native employment officers – open to on & off reserve
Safety First Contracting Limited
Maritime Environmental Training Institute