Employment program defines Kelowna man’s career path

Dane Webster, 22, learns about his skills and strengths in YMCA's employment program

Dane Webster benefitted from the YMCA's youth employment program.

Finding work can be a difficult task, especially for today’s youth who face a perceived ‘skills gap’ in the workforce and an above average national unemployment rate of 13.2 per cent.

For Dane Webster, 22, determining a career path and finding sustainable work in his field of interest, proved to be complicated.

“I was out on my own at age 17,” says Webster. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life at that point. It gets really confusing when you try to figure out a path on your own, and I would have benefited from a support network to help me explore options.”

Webster ended up working as an auditor in the airline industry at the age of 20 and although it was a good experience for him, he wasn’t passionate about his work and found he often had to be the “bad guy”, which he didn’t find rewarding.

So when he was laid off due to a shortage of work in his industry, he wasn’t entirely disheartened.

“I wasn’t happy in my job,” says Webster. “I was laid off and decided to find out what my options were. Luckily, I was referred to a local employment program offered by the YMCA.”

After receiving two recommendations to go to one of the YMCA’s Youth Employment Programs — for individuals under the age of 30 — Webster decided to check it out. And he is sure glad he did.

“I was surprised by the program,” says Webster. “The material they teach really spoke to me. The whole time it was about personal development and it put more hope in my dreams.”

Webster now has a clear direction and list of next steps to help him achieve his career aspirations.

“I want to do a couple things,” says Webster. “There are a bunch of tickets I want to take. I want to be a red seal carpenter and open my own company, which I plan to expand from there. I also want to pursue Aquaponics and be the first renewable resource for the Okanagan Valley.”

Webster goes on to explain that he has many of his own designs for building tanks to make them more connected and efficient. He has always enjoyed building things and his time in YMCA Employment Programs renewed this passion and helped him realize his desire to utilize his strengths.

In addition to a clear direction and plan to get there, Webster also has a professional resume, experience networking and some great interview practice under his belt. His next step is to register in the apprenticeship program at Okanagan College for carpentry and he hopes to get in on their next intake.

“I think more youth should go through the Y’s employment programs” says Webster. “The people who run them are ridiculously friendly and helpful, and by the end of it you really have a sense of what you want to do and what you want to accomplish. You know you can always come back as well, which is great. It feels a bit like family.

“Definitely a ten out of ten in my books.”

The YMCA’s next employment program start date is Nov. 7. If you are interested in joining this free training program to build your skills and find sustainable work you’ll love, call 250-861-JOBS (5627) or email youthjobs@ymcaokanagan.ca. You can also learn more about YMCA Youth Employment Programs at ymcaokanagan.ca.


Just Posted

Jurors set to deliberate on Kelowna murder trial

“He was mad as a hatter…”

Okanagan Death Café Series set for April

Last spring nearly a hundred people decided that they wanted to converse about death and dying

Kelowna couple confront Alzheimer’s disease

Allan and Bettina Collier stay active and take life one day at a time

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

Your March 22 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

Quebec daycare subsidies offer warning for B.C., study says

Over-55 women more likely to join paid workforce than young mothers

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Most Read