The Royal Alberta College

The RAC WPPP (Work, Practicum, Placement, Program) for Canada’s Youth - Career & Life Skills Development Initiative

The Department of Career Development and Life Skills Training at the Royal Alberta College values diversity, inclusion, opportunity, and dedication. Its mission is to guide Alberta’s youth in the face of current employment challenges, aiming to provide learners with the skills, knowledge, career counseling, and training that will enable them to gain employment, all in an inclusive and supportive environment that fosters lasting relationships.

Collectively, our organization has more than 160 years of experience in training, educating, and counseling the aforementioned demographics. The department is structured to include many internal, professional resources that include an advisory panel where department members can find professional resources for the needs of clients that would normally take months to process; whereby we can thus easily request a “side referral” to another internal resource in order to benefit our learners in a variety of ways and areas; moreover, the department has a contingent of outside resources from each of their personal and professional networks.

Who We Help

We assist learners enrolled in our programs that include, and are not limited to

  • Unemployed or marginally employed young adult Albertan 
  • Our Indigenous People
  • Women
  • Newcomers
  • Youth 
  • Recent graduates that are having difficulty finding work entry 
  • Those that are under-skilled 
  • Those that wish to start their own business

How we help

Learners that graduate from a program that is offered by The Royal Alberta College (RAC) can apply to the department to be connected with a prospective employer, if available. Most employers can receive government funding to host a learner to gain work-experience. The intent is to retain learners full time, if the host is capable. Learners that are not retained as an employee after the fixed period will be provided with a reference from the host and can receive further assistance from the department for placement.

What we offer

With over 160 years of experience in training, educating, and counselling the aforementioned demographics, the department has extensive knowledge in finding work practicums and employment for Alberta’s youth. Members of the department across various professions understand the challenges faced by Alberta youth, and thus developed the Work Practicum, Placement, Program (WPPP) to help learners gain work experience and permanent employmentThe WPPP, and the courses leading up to it, teach learners the necessary skills and resources to gain employment: Google software, soft skills, marketing strategies, research approaches, knowledge of rules, regulations, and laws, composing resumes, preparing for interviews, integrating into the workplace, and real work experience. 

Our Employability Assessment determines program eligibility while also identifying a learner’s barrier to training and employment. We identify the learners’ gap areas in which they need growth, their readiness, commitment, willingness, and ability to participate in the training program, their suitability for the program, as well as their financial eligibility and potential barriers to their employment. We thus build a comprehensive profile of learners. Should learners be deemed suitable for the program, the service provider and learners will collaboratively develop a comprehensive Service Plan outlining the steps for them to succeed; learners who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be referred to other appropriate programs and/or services in the community that may be more suitable (see 1.4 for more details). 

Service Planning and Service Management

The Department of Life Skills and Career Development builds Individual Program Plans (IPPs) alongside learners to plan and manage service to successful completion. IPP is created to identify any learners gaps, including work experience, training, and education, in order to best set up learners for success, and then managed for at least 90 days and up to 1 year after program completion Transition to Employment: The core element of the program will be training that is focused on job-specific technical skills required for employment in occupations that have current job vacancies. The occupational training program curriculum and training materials must be developed in conjunction with the employer/industry for which learners are being trained. Training must also result in a skillset that is recognized by employers/industry. Training programs may include more than one occupational stream. learners accepted into the program can only participate in one stream in accordance with their career goal and suitability for the occupation (see 1.4 of proposal for more details). 

Work experience is also a fundamental part of the Integrated Training model, allowing learners to work in a related occupational setting on a short-term basis to practice newly acquired skills that are directly related to the training received. Work experience may be paid or unpaid. Upon completion of the work experience, we expect that learners will be offered employment with the host employer. As such, the contractor will need to ensure that placements are arranged with employers who understand this expectation and indicate a willingness to hire learners at the end of the work experience. The department will be requesting an evaluation of the learners on a weekly basis from employers to offer constructive feedback to learners to ensure. While the design and delivery of Integrated Training will vary to meet the needs of target learners and local labour market demand, a maximum of 40% of the training should occur during one or more work experience placements. 

Retention and Follow-up Support: The Department of Career & Life Skills Development strives to ensure that all learners that are ready, willing, and able to work be placed into an employment training arrangement within 2 weeks of program completion, unless for some unforeseeable or extenuating circumstances such as an employers unwillingness or economic constraints. All learners will be personally monitored for 90 days after training, and those that are not placed will be provided support for a duration that does not exhaust the organization, place the organization at a disadvantage, or exploit the organization’s willingness to assist the learners.

The target learners Group, Alberta Youth, faces daily internal and external struggles with self-worth as well as a lack of knowledge and incentives. To assist youth, since most graduates and young people were apparently not able to enter the workforce because they did not have relevant work experience, the Department of Career Development and Life Skills Training developed the Work Practicum Placement Program (WPPP). 

With over 160 years of combined professional experience working with the Learner’s Group, members of this department consist of educators, mentors, pastors, and counselors. With the creation of the WPPP, these members were able to place youth into practicums related to their level of education, skills, and needs, allowing them to fill gaps in their competencies by gaining the necessary work experience and applicable skills that would lead to meaningful employment. 

While creating the WPPP, the Department of Career Development and Life Skills Training fostered lasting connections with hundreds of business organizations from numerous industry sectors at the local, national, and international levels to enable practicum placements, including the co-authorship of pre-training programs (applied knowledge). These cooperative initiatives expedite the onboarding of WPPP learners into companies to gain practical skills. These companies have requested the retention of the learners, as these learners will reduce onboard time and will be familiar with the industry that worked with us in building the program. To facilitate rapid connections, we have several procedures in place. 

First, learners enter the program and are trained according to their needs and depending on their objectives so that they may join the workforce at the appropriate time. Through our needs assessment and career development training, we will identify an individual’s strengths upon which to build; if the learners require reattachment into the labour market, we will assess what barriers or needs are required for reattachment (skill training) and allocate the training necessary to place the learners within the same industry and with an established organizational base. 

Second, we provide industry partners with a weekly list of trained candidates available to work within their industry. For example, we would email our partners in the “Customer Service” industry to notify them that we have 12 trained candidates that are ready for a practicum to gain work experience; we would also include the number of successful graduates, who already have work experience, that are ready to work. The partners then request the resumes of these candidates, and the attachment process begins. 

On average, The Department of Career Development and Life Skills Training receives 80 notifications of positions for employment per week for entry level positions that require some adaptation in skills, and these positions align with the learners after training and counselling are provided. 

Third, since we have developed our training programs alongside industry representatives, these representatives have spent time and money to articulate their needs; therefore, granting instructive practicums is in their best interest, and they have expressed that they wish to have the right of first refusal to our trained learners. 

Fourth and last, the Department of Career Development and Life Skills Training obtains highly skilled contractors, namely a labour analyst and an industry liaison, that provide labour insight. The labour analyst reports quantitative and qualitative data of current and future labour market hiring trends to the department, finding vacancies and shifts in order to advise on any potentially necessary modifications to the program for the benefit of graduates. These reports are provided to our industry liaison, who then engages the sectors that have gaps and explains their shortfalls through statistics. This person is an industry networker, bridging department and industry for practicum placement. Our industry liaison and organization are constantly broadening our already extensive network of companies that are seeking trained, counselled, and groomed individuals to work at the entry level with the intent for them to grow within the company. 

Accepting learners into the WPPP requires several interactions with them through education, counselling, networking, as well as providing guidance through mentorship and continued communication after they complete their training.

Our Employability Assessment is used to determine program eligibility while also identifying a learner’s barriers to training and employment. We thoroughly review the individual’s current situation, considering the learners’ educational and employment history to ensure that targeted learners have made an informed choice and demonstrate a need for training. 

The Employability Assessment identifies the learner’s gap areas in which they need growth, their readiness, commitment, willingness, and ability to participate in the training program, their suitability for the program, as well as their financial eligibility and potential barriers to their employment. 

We thus build a comprehensive profile of the learners. Should the learners be deemed suitable for the program, the service provider and the learners will collaboratively develop a comprehensive Service Plan outlining the steps for them to succeed; the learners who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be referred to other appropriate programs and/or services in the community that may be more suitable. 

We Deliver Our Program Components In The Following Steps ​

Learners are made aware of programs offered through marketing campaigns and partnerships.

Learners are engaged virtually, preferably on Google Hangouts, and are interviewed virtually for a Service Needs Determination Assessment.

Learners are assessed and either passed on or an in-person meeting is established at the college or at an Edmonton Public Library (if permitted, or must continue online process) through an online booking system as part of the Employability Assessment. learners are then reassessed in a formal interview to identify barriers, gaps, and requirements to design a Service Plan, or Individual Program Plan (IPP).

IPP is created to identify the nature of the learners’ gaps, including limitations in work experience and education, in order to develop specific abilities that will optimize their potential and lead to the best possible outcome for them in terms of their objectives. 

Learners start a pathway with a guidance counsellor on a schedule to meet their objectives. 

The Program Comprises The Following Outline of Courses Grouped by Section

Introduction to the Program: This section, which functions as an orientation, formally introduces learners to the program, briefing them on expectations, schedules, training materials to which they will have access, and other topics.

Understanding Google Resources: In this section, learners will learn essential training on Google software applications, among other subjects, that are pertinent to searching for work, including the ability to receive notifications, and valuable resources to make resumes, such as Slides, Presentation, and Docs.

Soft Skills, Social and Business Etiquette, and Emotional Intelligence: learners in this section will self-assess their current strengths and weaknesses with respect to their soft skills, social and business etiquette, and emotional intelligence in the context of communication and conflict resolution abilities. This section will identify learners’ gaps and formulate solutions upon which to build.

Introduction and Personal Preparedness: This section covers the keys to being prepared for a job search as well as the “four Ps” of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. learners will also be trained in areas of marketing readiness, work environment, and social media awareness, alongside self-awareness, assessment, and promotion to better understand how they can market themselves more effectively depending on their career choice.

Self-Marketing Tools: In this section, learners will learn about informational interviews and how to best conduct them through self-marketing strategies that focus on conventions of digital marketing and online applications, maintaining mental health, and using a systematic strategy to pursue a job in a specific company, among other subjects. 

Researching Jobs: This section instructs learners on how to research the wages (macro/micro) in today’s local economy and understand competing rates within public and private sectors. Learners will also learn how to assess job growth (plateaus, rises, settlements, etc.), where and how to find vacancies, the reasons behind vacancies, the hiring and staffing process, the growth of industries, transition periods, the business cycles of companies in different sectors, and how they can apply their strengths for the benefit for the company. 

Understanding Labour Rules, Regulations, and Laws: learners in this section will be taught the information that they need to provide when applying for employment. Additionally, this section will introduce employee rules and rights regarding hours, holidays, contractual obligations, and their online presence, among others. 

Resumes and References:  In this section, learners will learn about the functionality of a resume, including what information should be included and excluded, how to create an appropriate resume for the job to which they wish to apply, how and when to include references, how to utilize online platforms to post a resume, and how their resume should be presented. 

Mock Applications and Interviews: learners in this section will be requested to apply to 2 fictional jobs that have been created by the Department of Career Development and Job Training before scheduling mock critical in-person and online interviews. 

Interviewing: This section focalizes interview etiquette and techniques, including professional conduct, how to set up the proper time for an interview, questions that should be posed to the interviewer, and other interview matters.

After the Interview: learners will be introduced to the proper methods of assessing a job offer in this section: when to negotiate further, how to accept or decline an offer, etc. 


Integrating into the Workplace: This section instructs learners on how to review workplace rules, regulations, and expectations, as well as how to make a good impression in the workplace, about seeking and later offering mentorship, etc.

Life Skills and Financial Advice: This section teaches learners about finance and budgeting in the context of real-world circumstances: where to spend and save and how much in terms of budgeting, identifying and choosing between necessities and luxuries depending on your financial situation, and which options allow you to responsibly build credit, among others. 

Work Practicum Placement Program: In this final section, learners will participate in a practicum to gain work experience to assist them in creating a pathway to employment. 

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