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Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Bootstraps YESS

Bootstraps refers to the impossible action of “pulling oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps”.

In today’s economy, most young people get their first few jobs through connections. These connections consist of relatives, teachers, coaches, friends, and parents of friends. Young people from foster care can come from families and social networks which are unable to provide entry to employment. As a result youth have a hard time finding work.

Bootstraps includes supportive employers, skills development partners, and wage subsidy opportunities for youth. Youth are provided with individualized employment supports, job placements and mentorship prospects. As a result, these supports allow youth to journey forward towards sustainable employment.

In addition, Bootstraps provides support from Aunt Leah’s youth services, such as:

SEFFY (Supporting Education for Foster Youth), The Link, Support Link & Dan’s Legacy.

Bootstraps aims to remove barriers to employment, enable youth in and from care to explore, and advance skills to find sustainable jobs. Above all, Bootstraps takes a holistic approach to addressing barriers to employment youth may face, while also coaching in critical employability skills.

Participants will devise Individual Employment Plans with an employment specialist. While each will have distinct needs, each participant will have the opportunity to receive employment assistance services, skills training, financial supports, and employment experience.

What’s Provided

Eligible Skills Link participants will have access to:
  • Career exploration.
  • Resume building, interview skills & job search support.
  • Transportation costs.
  • Employment training with Aunt Leah’s social enterprises in warehouse and retail industries.
  • Access to free onsite clinical counselling with Dan’s Legacy.
  • Non-discriminatory LGBTQ2 nurse practitioner and physical health services.
  • Education supports, including academic upgrading and ABE tutoring.
  • Essential Skills one on one, workshops and group based training.
  • Weekly meals during training sessions.
  • Access to training certificates for employment, including First-Aid, WHMIS, Food Safe, and World Host.
  • Soft skills training, including interpersonal skills, communications, teamwork, problem solving and time management.
  • Career skills training, including but not limited to: forklift training, hairdressing, driver license training.
  • Opportunity to pursue Entrepreneurship and pitch community-based project ideas.
  • Culturally-specific supports for Indigenous Youth.
  • On-the-job training, job coaching and mentorship.
For Employers:
  • Wage subsidies.
  • Direct supports with Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps staff.
  • Post job placement support.
  • Between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive)
  • A Canadian citizen, or permanent resident or protected person as defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada; and
  • Legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

Are you looking for a different employment service? Are you unsure if you are eligible for this program? You can still access employment services with Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps: Employing Youth from Care Program

Contact the Bootstraps Coordinator

For more information, or to set up an appointment please contact [email protected] or call 778-228-9143.

Bootstraps Employer Contact

For more information on how your organization can get involved, please contact Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps Employer Engagement Officer Monique Michaud, directly at [email protected] or call 778-773-8639.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS)