The Fleming CREW employment centre is holding information sessions for their Skills Link Program today. Sally Hunter is the coordinator of the program and she explains it’s a 15-week program for training and paid work experience. This is the second time the program has been offered in Haliburton County, and ten people took part last year. This time, Hunter says it’s being offered out of the John Howard Society in Minden and they will be taking in 12 participants. Hunter explains the program is free to sign up for and gives three weeks of training courses like WHIMS, Smart Serve or CPR, depending on the kind of job each participant is looking for. The remaining 12 weeks, each person is connected with a local employer where they’re paid to work 35 hours a week. It’s a program that’s funded through the Canadian government, so Hunter says each employer is reimbursed for the wage costs.

An information session is being held today at the employment centre in the Village Plaza in Haliburton from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The next session is tomorrow at the John Howard Society, in the Godfather’s plaza, in Minden from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Hunter says the program is open to anyone between the ages of 15 and 30 who isn’t receiving Employment Insurance. She also says their goal is to help people get the skills and work experience they need to get jobs. For the most part they offer it to people who are experiencing a barrier to employment. Hunter explains this could be living in a rural community, mental health or physical barriers.

Hunter is asking anyone interested in attending the information session to call the employment centre at 705-457-2020. After the sessions, Hunter says there is a skills intake process where they determine the person’s level of need and whether or not they will benefit from the program.

Hunter explains that sometimes people aren’t at a point in their lives where they’re ready for a program like this. “It’s a life changing experience for people,” Hunter says.

For more information, contact Sally Hunter at the Fleming CREW office.