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Internet sessions aimed at rural youths

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Problems facing rural youths who need access to accurate, up-to-date information about the labour market will be the focus of two sessions tomorrow afternoon at NCDS Career Works here.

Hosted by Ontario Work Info Net (OnWIN), the first session, at noon for youths aged 16-24 , and the second at 2 p.m. for agencies serving young people, such as Confederation College, are geared towards generating ideas and getting input as to how employment information can be better accessed in a rural area like Northwestern Ontario.

“I think it’s going to be good,” said Janet Plumridge, executive director at NCDS Career Works. “Hopefully, the information we can give OnWIN will be integrated into the design of Internet-based services in the future.”

OnWIN is coming here to conduct its assessment of the information needs of rural youth, and analyze the gaps in information services available to the younger generation.

Plumridge said the timing couldn’t be better.

“I know Internet-based services are only going to grow in the near future, and the time to do something about it is now,” she stressed.

The private company is managing phase one of the Internet-based Job Market and Career Information Program of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs’ Rural Youth Strategy.

That first phase, which is intended to improve rural youths’ access to information about the job market, consists of three objectives:

•to assess rural youth needs with respect to accessing and effectively using Internet-based labour market information;

•to identify activities to meet these needs; and

•to submit an implementation action plan for those identified activities.

Fort Frances is one of just five sites selected in the province so the sessions here truly could have an impact on the design of OMAFRA’s Internet-based services--a point that thrilled Plumridge.

“People attending may have a chance to impact on something they may be using in the future,” she noted. “So often, living in this part of the province, we don’t get an opportunity to voice our opinions in matters like this.”

Those interested in checking out OnWIN’s survey on-line can do so at www.novt.com/survey.

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