Part-time student Terren Provins-Tse is like any other young adult in that he’s pretty happy to have found employment in the ultra-competitive summer job market.
“I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Unlike many other students, Provins-Tse, 21, is a client of the Developmental Disability Resource Centre of Calgary. He, and others who live with developmental disabilities, face unique challenges when trying to land a job, said Shannon Mills, team leader of the PACE program at DDRC.
“A lot of it’s just online applications for the fact our clients aren’t able to get into the workforce and actually have a chance to display their skill sets and abilities and personalities and just sell their skills for what they are.”
Those skills can be varied just as they are for anyone else. However, according to a March 2017 Statistics Canada survey, of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 that were surveyed, only half of those with a disability said they were employed, compared to 79 per cent who claimed employment but didn’t have a disability.
Chef Dean Mitchell is Provins-Tse’s current employer. He has worked with persons with varying disabilities in the past and said they bring as much value to a position as anyone else.
“You have to train your people. If you’re not training your people then you don’t have an efficient operation. So does it really matter who you’re training?
“You just have to take the time, explain things to them properly, make sure they’re understanding it and remember who you’re working with and what their capabilities are.”
Mitchell said the people with intellectual disabilities he’s worked with, including Provins-Tse, bring added value to the work environment.
“He’s replacing basically a person that would be a full-time person but in this case, I have somebody who’s more passionate in what he does. It’s not just a job.”
Provins-Tse is a dishwasher but is taking courses at Bow Valley College and hopes to one day run his own restaurant or take over his parent’s restaurant.
“It’s going good. It’s like a fast pace but I’m getting used to it and I enjoy everyone I work with.”