Unless federal funding is renewed in April, the Fresh Start class of 2012 will be the last. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

A program in Summerside, P.E.I. that helped youth find meaningful employment will end next month, unless it gets the funding it needs to continue.

The Fresh Start program started as a pilot project a year ago, aimed at people aged 16 to 30. It teaches skills like communication, positive thinking and finances, with the goal of finding a career.

Fresh Start received funding from Skills PEI, a program jointly funded by the province and Ottawa. The last Fresh Start group will finish in December, and there will be no new one if Skills PEI funding is not renewed in April.

"It's a difficult time. We're certainly appreciative of the fact that both levels of government have recognized the need existed, that this was certainly a worthwhile venture," said program founder Bill Martin.

"The needs are huge. It gives participants a pretty focused understanding of the ideal type of career for them. Many of them are graduating out into the world of work without a lot of employable skills."

The program has had 75 participants, and Martin said most of them have gone on to find meaningful jobs, or are continuing their education.

For mobile device users: Should Ottawa renew funding for Summerside's Fresh Start youth employment program? 


  • This story previously incorrectly stated Fresh Start lost its funding due to a federal decision. The program's funding is in fact administered by Skills PEI.
    Nov 28, 2012 1:25 PM AT