Portage la Prairie, MB –
Teenagers and parents are rejoicing about a pilot project that will clarify the career paths for teens. The Work Draft program launches this fall in Portage la Prairie and allows local and regional businesses to select or “draft” 14-year-olds for current or future work.
“We’ve seen this work in hockey so we want to try it in the business world,” work draft pioneer Dave Robson said. “Employers will be able to scout and assess the talent pool and then decide who might fit their workplace and put those kids on a protected list.”
The new plan will eliminate the inefficient process of recruiting and searching for work. Employers will have five rounds of draft picks to put prospective employees on the list. Once selected, a teen may not work for any other business until after they become a free agent at 21.
“This plan will really help us keep wages down for employers,” Robson explained. “It will cut costs on recruitment and likely eliminate turnover in those positions since they won’t be allowed to work anywhere else. It’s a win – win. We get to reduce labour cost and improve effeciencies.”
For teens, they gain the security of knowing somebody may want to employ them and saves them the chore of looking for work or better paying jobs.
Not all teens will be drafted, only 20 selections will be made in each of the five rounds and the rest will be left as “free agents” who can attempt applying to any employer.
“Kids who aren’t drafted technically have the right to apply anywhere,” Robson said. “In reality they likely won’t have much of a chance finding work after the brightest and best kids are already on an employers draft list.”
After the draft is held each place of work will invite the kids to a try-out where they will be put to work and assessed. If there are open spots some will be given jobs while those not selected for work will remain unemployed and prohibited from working elsewhere until an opening comes up.
“This type of thing works for hockey so we are confident it will work in business as well,” Robson shared. “Employers can trade kids on their lists freely and it will help the best workers get ahead.”
Designers of the plan hope the new system will encourage the development of the top end talent and improve the workforce in Portage. They hope to keep drafted players engaged in work while quietly hoping the undrafted and less talented kids move on or give up on the working altogether.
“This program is all about development and making Portage the best it can be,” Robson said. “Other communities are very interested in what we are doing and looking at starting similar programs. I’m glad we can be at the leading edge of this movement.”
Employers participating in the draft are currently reviewing school grades, speaking with teachers and meeting with parents as they assemble their lists. The most exceptional teens are expected to be selected in the top two rounds with more average role players being selected later on.
“I would expect all of the first round to be given jobs right away and most of the second round. The rest will have to wait and prove themselves.”
CIPP-TV is working to secure the broadcast rights of the first three rounds of the draft and is planning a prime time special.