Charlie Maclellan is the Manager of the Northside Employment and Resource Centre in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Resource Centre, with the assistance of the the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, was able to help participants find full or part-time positions in their community.
My name is Charlie Maclellan and I'm the Manager of the Northside Employment and Resource Centre in
We've been involved with the Initiative ciblée pour les travailleurs âgés program since January of 2005 . . . we were one of the very first organizations to take advantage of the program and the funding. This program benefits both older workers and employers. The workers, maybe some of them have been out of the work force for a while . . . one of the reasons for the program is because people have been laid off . . .these areas have been hit by industry close downs. The coal mines closed ten years ago the steel plant followed shortly after that. And, several fish plants have closed in the meantime plus we've lost out auto parts manufacturer in the industrial park so we've been hit quite heavily by losses in industry. The older workers that have lost their job because of this and there's older workers like women that have worked in the house and since their spouses have lost their jobs now they've wanted to return to the labour force . . and just other people that who maybe have been injured or sick or for whatever reason now have decided that they want to get back into the work force. So what these programs do for these older workers is the classroom portion gives them the employability skills so they can actually go out and look for work. Gives them the skills pertaining to resumes, interview preparation, what it's like to work in the workplace today because it's much different now because of computers in the workplace compared to maybe when they were last there.
One of the things, of course in the workshops too is to help with their self esteem because some people feel beaten down because, you know they've lost their job and there is a sense there that maybe they're not ready to compete in the job market anymore so self esteem is a huge component. Another thing it does with the job placement is that it gets them back into the routine of actually getting up and going to work again and knowing what that's all about.
Another important component is the safety certifications and the job specific training we give them so that they are ready to go out into the workplace and be a contributor.
And, the biggest thing in this area and our unemployment is hovering around sixteen per cent and so many people are chasing so few jobs that it's so important to get your foot in the door. So, we are able to go to the employers because of this program and say that we have a worker. . . . it gives the worker a chance to get in there, display his skills and the tremendous work ethic the older workers have.
The benefits for the employers is that they get to see the workers, you know they get to hire them basically and it doesn't cost them a lot. So this may be somebody that they may not normally have hired because of their age and their skills may be lacking. But, they get to see them and if they work out, that's great for them.
I would definitely recommend the older workers program for any community that is looking to help older workers get back into the workforce. To do all the things for them that they need to be able to tackle being able to get back into the workforce after some set backs. Absolutely I recommend it because it's a win win for the organization, the employers and the community groups that utilize it.