Vote for Youth Innovation for Safety! Voting polls for the 2017 Aviva Community Fund are now open. Register today at www.avivacommunityfund.org and cast up to 18 votes for the Job Safety Skills Society’s Youth Innovation for Safety project. The polls close on Thursday, October 19, so be sure to get your votes in ASAP!
As statistics show, many young Albertans are injured every year as they enter the workforce. The Job Safety Skills Society (JSSS) provides cost-free accredited safety education to youth through our JobSafe Program. In doing so, we educate and empower young people to take responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves, their friends, families, peers, colleagues and communities. Our mission is to empower today’s youth for tomorrow’s workplaces, and our Youth Innovation for Safety project will help us succeed at fulfilling our mission. Together with our JobSafe Community and the help of the Aviva Community Fund, we can create safer workers, safer workplaces and safer communities. We invite you to be part of our mission by voting for Youth Innovation for Safety!
Youth Innovation for Safety will provide today’s intelligent, innovative and industrious youth with unique opportunities to develop safety ideas and strategies that will benefit the places they work and the communities they live in. Our overarching goal is to promote safety conscientiousness in youth as they prepare to enter the workforce. The Aviva Community Fund will allow us to establish a forum for starting a conversation with youth about workplace safety, to tap into their ideas and to bring those ideas to fruition by assisting in the development, implementation and promotion of selected innovative and inspiring youth safety concepts and strategies. Youth Innovation for Safety consists of the following three components:
Component 1: Safe Kids Save Lives Safety Scripts
Most safety videos are created by adults who work in specific industries; these videos generally do not include youth or appeal to youth. Young people speak their own language and have their own level of understanding that differs from that of adults; so, messages about workplace safety delivered by adults can be lost on young people. Instead of adults spearheading conversations with youth about workplace safety, young people can pose questions and create their own meaningful messages about what is important to them in terms of workplace safety as they enter a new place of employment. Examples include:
- What should youth be asking about and looking for on job sites?
- If something doesn’t look safe, what actions should a young worker take?
- What are the steps to reporting unsafe work practices and conditions?
The youth job market is quite vast and encompasses many different roles in a variety of industries. Youth Innovation for Safety will empower young people to create workplace safety videos that are directly related to the specific jobs and industries in which they work, or have worked. Having the creative freedom to make and produce these videos gives young people the opportunity to discuss their own personal workplace safety experiences, and to also deliver the messages in ways that will appeal to and be easily understood by other young people. Educating youth on how to be safe in the workplace prior to their entry into the workforce will benefit employers, industries, the workforce and communities at large. Employers can be confident that they are hiring safety-conscious youth who will actively apply their knowledge of standard workplace safety principles and practices on the job. With funding from the Aviva Community Fund, this component of Youth Innovation for Safety can be achieved via three possible routes:
- Youth will be invited to submit their visions of workplace safety to us, and they can work with high school drama departments and drama students to enact their visions of safety. With the help of the JSSS and funding from Aviva, the enactments will then be produced as safety education videos.
- The JSSS will collaborate with organizations who specialize in the creation and production of safety education and training videos to help bring youth safety vision submissions to life on screen.
- Youth can take the initiative to create their own safety education videos, overseeing the entire process from conception to post-production. Once their video is completed, they can submit it to the JSSS.
Component 2: JobSafe Start the Conversation App
Social media, smartphones and digital device apps are currently the primary methods of communication for youth. These mediums have proven tremendously effective at keeping youth actively engaged within their social spheres, so why not tap into their effectiveness and apply it to other practical and meaningful uses? As it stands, there are not many apps specifically designed to provide youth with employment resources and workplace safety tips. The purpose of the JobSafe Start the Conversation App is to encourage youth to start the conversation about workplace safety with their peers, and to be advocates for the safety and wellbeing of themselves, their friends, families, colleagues, peers and communities. With the help of the Aviva Community Fund, the JSSS would have the opportunity to hire a third-party service provider to help us create, develop and implement the JobSafe Start the Conversation App.
The app would allow young people to ask and discuss such common workplace questions as:
- What safety-related questions should be asked on the job?
- Who will be a good on-the-job resource for safety information?
- If something looks unsafe, what steps should I take?
- What are common hazards for different workplace environments and industries?
In addition to providing a platform for youth to seek answers to the above questions, the JobSafe Start the Conversation App will also include a variety of safety resources such as articles, videos, links, etc. The app can be used to connect young people to potential employers as well as to other youth working in similar or different industries. App users will have access to current industry news and events, workplace and industry trends, and updates on changes to occupational health and safety legislation. The app will also act as a portal for ongoing training and education, and it will work in conjunction with Component 3: The Youth Innovation for Safety Ambassador Program.
Component 3: Youth Innovation for Safety Ambassador Program
The Youth Innovation for Safety Ambassador Program provides youth an opportunity to connect with mentors in workplaces and communities, and it gives industry ambassadors an opportunity to mentor youth as they prepare to enter the workforce. In doing so, the program aims to establish a partnership legacy between inexperienced young people and their experienced elders, and to bridge the gap between traditional and modern workplace safety protocols and practices. Young people can gain skills and knowledge that they would not normally have access to, by connecting with and spending quality learning time with their mentors: the experienced industry ambassadors.
To summarize, the three components of Youth Innovation for Safety are interconnected in the following ways:
- Youth can connect with one another via the JobSafe Start the Conversation App to brainstorm ideas for Safe Kids Save Lives Safety Scripts.
- Youth participants and industry ambassadors can work together to brainstorm ideas for the Safe Kids Save Lives Safety Scripts.
- Save Kids Save Lives Safety Scripts can be featured in the video resources section of the JobSafe Start the Conversation App.
- The JobSafe Start the Conversation App can be used as a forum for youth and industry ambassadors to connect and arrange mentorships and/or employment opportunities.
- Industry ambassadors/mentors can contribute industry-specific resource materials for the JobSafe Start the Conversation App.
With the help of the Aviva Community Fund, the JSSS’ Youth Innovation for Safety will provide young people unique opportunities to produce and execute creative and innovative ideas and strategies to promote safety among all youth entering the workforce for the first time. Who better than people their own age to relate with their peers and come up with concepts, production plans and implementation methods for youth to learn, apply and promote safe work practices as they enter the workforce? The JSSS will select and facilitate contest entrants to effectively submit ideas. Once an idea has been selected, we will assist in providing the means for bringing youth safety ideas from concept to reality.