Education and Employment

NCSFT has developed a comprehensive suite of education and employment readiness programming over more than 30 years. This suite of services includes EarlyON centres, Aboriginal Head Start, daycare, full-day kindergarten, before and after school programming, Native Learning Centres in TDSB schools, GED programs, multiple specialized youth programs, and post-secondary programs in collaboration with local colleges. These programs are grounded in Aboriginal values, practices, and pedagogy, providing a service continuum that promotes the educational and employment success of Aboriginal children, youth and families in Toronto.

NCFST’s Aboriginal Youth Education and Employment programs offer multiple, flexible, guided service pathways that meet youth wherever they are in their lives. Program staff, teachers, and partners work with youth to develop their own education or employment plans and empower them to take charge of their own lives and support them as they move through the program’s daily activities in both individual and group settings. Because of the variable education and skills levels of youth entering the program we offer multiple levels of programming including life skills, literacy and basic skills upgrading, GED preparation, and job-specific skills training, as well as book clubs, computer classes, volunteer opportunities, and social activities that help them make friends, build self-confidence and community. They also access cultural programs and ceremonies, including culture nights, smudge ceremonies, and drumming that provide them with knowledge of and pride in their identity.

The objectives of the program:

  1. Provide vulnerable Aboriginal youth with a solid foundation of emotional support, practical skills, and cultural teachings that will prepare and empower them to achieve their employment and/or education goals;
  2. Build leadership skills, self-confidence, and sense of pride and community among vulnerable Aboriginal youth;
  3. Enhance the capacity of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community organizations to collaborate on policy and program development and delivery focused on improving Aboriginal youth education and employment opportunities.
As a result of these programs, Aboriginal youth are able to increase their access to pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship or employment opportunities, complete their GED, pursue further educational opportunities and live their lives with greater, independence, self-confidence, and resilience. Youth will also have increased access to a variety of life skills-building activities and wrap-around supports that will increase their leadership skills, self-confidence, feelings of resiliency, and a sense of pride and community. We will also increase opportunities for youth to serve as volunteers at NCFST and partner organizations so that they can build transferable skills as outreach ambassadors. Community organizations committed to support and serve Aboriginal youth will also increase their capacity to provide with effective, culturally-informed education and employment-related services.