Volunteer Work Placement Information

Volunteer Work Placements vary year to year and depend on where this year’s Host Families live. If you are interested in having a youth volunteer at your work place, contact us! Keep an eye on our social media around May for an announcement of this year’s Host Communities.

About Work Placements

Volunteer work placements give Participants the opportunity to acquire basic skills in a chosen field of interest and allows them to earn up to 5 high school credits. In preparation for the summer, the Staff Members at NYA work with each Participant to determine their areas of interest and make every effort to place Participants at a suitable job. This experience is invaluable as Participants are able to explore their career goals and learn more about their industry of choice from their workplace supervisors and co-workers. To read about pervious experiences of Participants, read the NYA Blog!

What kind of Work Placements do Participants volunteer with?

The NYA Staff finds that the Participants often leave the program inspired to pursue the education, training, and other experience necessary to reach their goals. In the past work placements have included camps and child care centres, bakeries, farms, mechanic shops, retail stores, Native Friendship Centres, hospitals, theatres, libraries, and a range of other jobs in many fields that meet each individual’s particular interests and career goals.

How Long are Work Placements?

Work placements are 5 weeks in length and the Participants’ work schedule should mimic a slightly shortened full-time work week, working 7 hours a day, Monday through Friday, for a total of 35 hours a week. Participants should work at least 125 hours during their placements to ensure they receive full high-school Work Experience Credits.

Role of the Workplace Supervisor

  • Support the Participant in gaining exposure to, and experience in, your field of work. Help them to consider future, education, and training options that will lead to good career-based decisions
  • Help the Participant adjust to their new routine and responsibilities.
  • Create an understanding environment by taking into account that the Participant is adjusting to new lifestyles and dealing with challenges such as culture shock and homesickness.

Workplace Expectations

  • Provide workplace orientation for the Participant (i.e. introduction to co-workers; overview of expectations, work schedule & daily routine; Help them to feel welcome, etc.)
  • Review workplace responsibilities with Participant
  • Inform Participants of workplace safety (i.e. Off-limit areas, chemicals, dangerous products, etc.) Participants take part in WHMIS & Standard First Aid during NYA Orientation in Ottawa prior to their volunteering work placements.
  • Help Participants fill out relevant parts of the Summer Assignment Pack, which NYA provides to the Participants
  • Complete Workplace Contract (hours expected to work, workplace duties) and send to NYA by the end of the first full week of work
  • Sign Participant’s Time and Activities Sheet at the end of each week
  • Support NYA Behaviour Guidelines that Participants are required to follow
  • Complete Participant Evaluation Form and send to NYA

Frequently Asked Questions

Are participants to be paid for their work placements?

NYA Participants are not to be paid. This is a volunteer opportunity and Participants will be earning high school credits. NYA will provide them with an allowance of $40 per week and also cover their living costs.

How old are the youth?

All of our Participants in the Canadian Program are between the ages of 15 and 21 years old. Our program is open to youth in this age range from any community in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories. Applicants undergo a competitive process and are selected based on a variety of criteria.

What about Criminal Record Checks and Liability Insurance?

Each participant must submit a Criminal Background Check prior to participating in the NYA Program. Participants are covered under NYA’s general liability insurance policy.

What support will there be while participants are at the work placement?

NYA Program Staff will be available during regular office hours all summer (weekdays from 9am to 5pm EST). There will also be an additional Staff Member available in the office from 1pm to 9pm EST Monday to Thursday all summer. In case of emergency, NYA’s phone lines will be forwarded to an on-call staff person who can be reached 24 hours a day. Work placement Supervisors should maintain contact with NYA so that any issues that arise may be addressed and resolved quickly.

Where can I get more information on the program?

More information about other aspects of NYA’s programming is available elsewhere on the website. You can also contact the office to speak with a Staff Member and request more information to be sent to you by e-mail or mail. Selected Work Placements will be forwarded to a Workplace Supervisor’s Handbook with program guidelines and more detailed information.