Changes to Job Training Implemented in Response to COVID-19

Apr 17, 2020

IDRF’s Get Job Ready program adjusts with new content & delivery technology  

TORONTO, April 17, 2020 – With face-to-face training in classroom settings no longer a viable option during the COVID-19 pandemic, IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) today announced that it has moved its highly successful Get Job Ready and Licensed to Learn (L2L) programs to online environments.

 “With the economic challenges created by the current public health crisis, programs designed to train, prepare and empower our Canadian youth for the future of work are more vital than ever,” said Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF. “By moving our job training programs online and updating our content, we can continue to help at-risk youth, including those in First Nation communities, as well as those who are new to Canada.”

Get Job Ready is an IDRF initiative dedicated to helping young Canadians overcome the barriers they face in getting academic support and gaining access to the labour market, and helping them achieve their career goals. Since 2017, Get Job Ready has taught hundreds of Canadians how to navigate the job market and acquire essential employment skills. For example, more than 55% of Get Job Ready participants have found jobs, and 68% report they have been called for two or more job interviews.

What makes Get Job Ready unique is that beyond teaching the job searching strategies, through group work, mock interviews, ice breakers and debates, the sessions build each participant’s soft skills, such as critical thinking, communication, social cohesion, problem-solving and leadership. Furthermore, IDRF offers support for participants upon completion of the program, helping them prepare for interviews by conducting practice sessions through video and even using the voice notes features on What’s App and Instagram.

The Get Job Ready initiative, which includes L2L, is supported through the RBC Future Launch program, which for the past three years has been a major sponsor.  RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500-million initiative to help young people gain access and opportunity to the skills, job experience and career networks needed for the future world of work.

In addition to being delivered online, the new digital version of Get Job Ready has been adapted to the current economic climate. For example, the program identifies the various types of jobs available in today’s market, provides training on how to do effective video job interviews, stresses the importance of learning new skills during a period of isolation, and encourages relationship building with professionals in their chosen fields.

“Get Job Ready alumni often send us positive messages about landing their first job or securing the internship they believe will create a pathway towards a bright future,” explains Mr. Qasim. “However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the tone of the messages we’ve received has been much different. Youth that previously completed Get Job Ready have been victims of cutbacks. Others are worried that landing a summer job now becomes impossible.”

Get Job Ready will instill a more robust level of confidence for young Canadians facing the most challenging employment market in a generation. Moreover, youth that complete the digital training will be offered the opportunity to participate in in-person workshops once social distancing ends, so they can meet the peers they connected with online.

About IDRF

IDRF is a Canadian registered charitable organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-run charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as the Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency, and results.  IDRF has also been blessed with outstanding leadership and governance, and has board directors who have been publicly recognized with Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteerism. Find out more about IDRF’s programs for youth, and follow us on FacebookInstagram  and LinkedIn.

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Nabil Ali