The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) is hoping to launch a youth apprenticeship program soon that will provide paid opportunities for high school students to get a taste of the workforce, ORG Director Matt Aubry told Guardian Business recently.
Aubry said ORG is hoping to launch a pilot program at C.R. Walker Senior High School for that youth apprenticeship endeavor for students in grades 10, 11 and 12.
According to Aubry, there is a huge gap between what is happening in education in this country and what is needed in vocation.
He said with youth unemployment numbers the third highest in the region and with a large percent of students dropping out of school, the gap needs to be bridged.
“And if they will be earning a little money on the side, it also gives them an opportunity to learn about going on the job, soft skills and all those things that we see that if they were in place earlier, we’re going to have less kids going into gangs, we’re gonna have less kids going into crime, we’re going to have more opportunities to tap into the potential of these kids versus shooting them out of the system,” said Aubry.
He added that the program will give the students a new respect for literacy and numeracy, as they learn why these two features of their education are so important in the real world.
He explained that ORG is also advocating for the government to change the school model to meet the needs of the children, which he said includes adding social and emotional learning to every grade level.