The Weyburn Public Library this February will be helping ambitious teens between 13 and 15 to prepare for the job market.

The government requires that this Youth Employment Program Certificate is taken, just so that the youth know exactly what they're getting into in the work world, what their rights are in terms of breaks, how you can work, explained Teen Programmer Joanne Smith. 

She said this is because, "Under 16, especially during the school year, you cannot work more than I believe 16 hours in a week. You need to know that and any employer who's hiring someone under 16 needs to see that certificate." 

Smith said there are a few options for completing the certificate.

"Most sessions do take more than one day. There are three different modules to it, and there are quizzes at the end of each module to test the teen on what they've learned. I believe you have to get at least 75 to 80% on each test before the certificate comes, but it's to work within schedules because we know people have extracurriculars, home responsibilities," she noted. 

The scheduled dates, all at 4:00 p.m., are February 8th, 15th, 20th and 22nd.

"The 8th and the 15th fall within when school is happening, and then the 20th and 22nd, if you are in those extracurriculars, that's during winter break, so if that time works better for you to get it done, you're able to do it then."

She said they have done this program once before, but it was spread out over more time. And, while it is done in school as well, this ensures those who weren't able to complete it at school can still have a focused time to get it done.

"It's for those that maybe didn't get the assignment done during school and they need the time and the incentive to do it with us, if you choose to, is that we'll print the certificate off for you for free," she shared. "As well, if you've taken the course through us and you want to bring your resume in when you've done that, we'll also print your resume for free because you've taken the course with us."

Smith said they would send out handouts providing examples of resumes. No job experience does not, she noted, mean no experience with volunteering, delivering flyers, creating web pages, or any number of marketable skills.

"It just gives them examples of what you need in a resume, how to do it, and just how some of your job skills. What do you write on a resume for job skills that you might have just to make it a little more professional."

She said it's also to know exactly what your rights are. "How many hours can you work? When do you get breaks? How long should your lunch break be? Do you get paid for your lunch break or don't you get paid? So it's just all the little intricacies of an actual job, and that the employer is responsible for training you in certain things."

While the program is aimed more towards 14-to-15-year-olds, Smith said sometimes 13-year-olds want to take it so they have it for being able to obtain employment once they are 14.

"A lot of parents also know it's a safe place, they know where they are, and then the idea of free printing of resumes, especially for those who don't have a printer in their home, a lot of homes do and they can print them off themselves, but for those who don't, rather than coming in and paying for printing, it'll be done for them." 

She said every participant will require a laptop or some kind of computer with a headset to complete the course, and WPL can only provide a handful of those to use.

"That way they can store their own certificates in case they want to for the future," she said. "You have to sit and you have to listen to all the explanations. You have to listen to the instructions and then do the quiz. It's all done online, so afterward it will ask you questions based on what you've just watched."

Smith said refreshments will be allowed and all learning styles will be accommodated. 

"Last year, it took them between about two and a half to three hours," she said, noting the second module is the longest.