Human Resources, Labour and Employment
May 7, 2008

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Success for Single Parents through the Employment Transitions Program

I rise today to inform this Honourable House of a successful employment transitions program offered within the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment (HRLE) to help single parents in receipt of income support find and secure employment. In 2006, HRLE piloted the program in the Corner Brook area. HRLE is also an active partner with the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland in support of their successful program in St. John�s and Conception Bay North.

The employment transitions program enables groups of approximately 15 single parents to participate in a 12-week curriculum. They receive sessions on career planning, job readiness, job maintenance, and life skills, and individualized counseling support. Participants also receive an earned income supplement.

The program has proven to be highly successful. Between March 2006 and November 2007, 65 single parents participated in the Corner Brook area with 80 per cent going on to work or post-secondary training after completion of the program.

This demonstrates the importance of putting an expanded program in place given the positive impact on the participant�s quality of life. It also helps meet the labour needs of employers. As part of $9.6 million in new Budget 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy initiatives, our government is making a further investment of $128,000 this year to support this worthwhile and positive program.

It is making a difference for individuals. One participant expressed interest in securing work with the post office. As a result of her involvement in the program, she secured a job with a post office outlet located in a drugstore. The employer, recognizing her potential, provided the financial support necessary to enable the individual to receive formal training as a pharmacy technician leading to a supervisory role within the drug store. Another participant was drawn to employment within the retail sector. She found work at a gift store and since that point has progressed to a management position within the company.

There are many success stories equally worthy of mention. The point is clear, when we help people identify the possibilities, explore the opportunities, and then find and secure meaningful work, dreams turn into goals and successful outcomes become reality. The Provincial Government is committed to helping people overcome barriers to employment, and make a successful long-term attachment and transition to greater self-reliance in today�s labour market.

2008 05 07                                                     2:15 p.m.


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