|Horizon hoping Career Transitions can be saved|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by Greg Price|
|Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:08|
Horizon School Division does not want to see funding for Career Transitions go quietly into the night.
Career Transitions was created initially back in 1998 in response to parent concern over low levels of career education in helping with schools to work transitions, and it looks to be coming to an end later this year with lack of government funding.
"It is a cause that is close to my heart and one that we believe is very valuable to our region," said Dave Driscoll, associate superintendent of programs and services, at the Horizon school board of trustees meeting in late March.
"Unfortunately, it will cease to exist as of mid-June. We still have not received any word of funding provincially or federally. What we are asking is that if you are speaking to anyone who is running for elections to ask them about this and ask them about their policy stance on this."
The funding crisis is due to the withdrawal of provincial Youth Connections funding in the 2011 budget, which represented approximately 60 per cent of Career Transitions' annual revenue.
The 2011/2012 year is currently funded from $90,000 from school divisions, $122,000 from surplus and an assortment of small project contracts.
There would be a requirement of $250,000 to operate Career Transitions for the 2012/2013 academic year.
Driscoll outlined the gravity of the situation to board members, where 9,338 students from Grade 8 to Grade 12 will miss the opportunity to be involved in career development activities which help define future career paths.
Also, 261 local businesses have fewer options to attract and recruit youth to their workplaces.
Several programs such as Job Shadow, Southwest Alberta Regional Skills Competition, Youth Exploring Trades and Technologies Workshop, Take Child to Work Day, Cardboard Boat Races, and Lemonade Stand will be impacted.
"All these programs that directly affect labour market shortages will be gone," said Driscoll.
"The question that it comes down to is we are in a time where we are saying jobs are coming up where there won't be enough employees and we will go overseas to find people and yet we won't invest in our own young people to get training for those jobs."
Driscoll went on to note 53 schools from nine jurisdictions will face increased workloads to replace school and division-based programs.
"Divisions duplicate services that were previously centrally managed in a cost-effective streamlined manner. Everything that I mentioned with those previous programs were run in the division by Career Transitions," said Driscoll.
There are 29 post-secondary institutions that have benefited from an annual co-ordinated post-secondary fair through Career Transitions who will now be forced to visit individual schools increasing their recruitment costs. Driscoll added smaller schools will likely not be able to support the increases to time and travel.
"Small schools will not be able to draw in the higher-calibre quality universities," said Driscoll, who added five community-based agencies including Canadian Home Builders Association, Career Development of Alberta, Junior Achievement, Southern Alberta Technology Council and Skills Canada Alberta would all be forced to find alternative communication routes into secondary schools. "So it's more than just missing out on one or two programs. It's a regional approach that proves to be very cost effective in career transition. We sat together (four) weeks ago as a board who runs this and tried to brainstorm. A couple of schools said couldn't you just get our councillors together and form a group to do this. There is no physical way we could stretch ourselves to do this. This is three or four staff members that maintain this."
|Customers should benefit from new cellphone rules|
Canadians will have new freedom when it comes to cellphone contracts with the Canadian Radio-televis [ ... ]
|SASG registration extended|
With hundreds of local registrants flooding in looking for this past week’s deadline for the South [ ... ]
|Vauxhall Advance recognized at Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association awards|
The results are in for the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) awards and The Vauxhall Advan [ ... ]
|Virostek honoured at U of L|
Hailee Virostek, a Vauxhall High School graduate and Enchant resident, was honoured recently with a [ ... ]