“I used to call this replication, but it’s not replication it’s adaptation - something that fits the size and scope and nature of your community.” —Sheldon Pollett, Executive Director, Choices for Youth
Choices recently decided to make a modification to the Train for Trades model, effective April 1st 2015 (for fiscal 2015/2016). As the bulk of the toolkit was developed using the existing model, and the changes are related to scale of the activities, it was decided to present the model for Train for Trades as it existed at the time of the interviews/research and include this section to update readers about the changes.
The intention for Train for Trades was always to transition to a fully self-sustaining enterprise. These changes reflect that goal, albeit at a faster pace than anticipated due to changes in the provincial funding climate. Changing to a self-sustainability model removes the instability of relying on outside investments and is better for the program in the long run.
CFY believes that the final piece to the development of the Train for Trades Employment Program is to incorporate a social enterprise focus at the management level. Focusing attention on the operational aspects of the program will allow the programming pieces of Train for Trades to be delivered adequately, while managing projects more efficiently to work towards the long-term stability of Train for Trades.
Choices for Youth and Train for Trades staff recommend that groups creating a similar program use the pre-2015/2016 model to get started, see what works and then look at moving to self-sustainability. Over the years, T4T has figured out its scope, capacity and the value it can provide to young people. With this new structure, T4T is aiming to reach self-sustainability by Spring of 2016. It now has the flexibility to expand and contract capacity based on market demand and revenues generated, rather than relying on government or corporate investment.
On an ongoing basis, the number of staff positions may fluctuate depending upon the number of youth in the program, which will be determined by the workload and contracts obtained.