March 2017  NEWSLETTER
Dear Reader,

As we enter the month of March, we reflect on our busy month of February, and look forward to what's to come as we move into the spring. 

One of our many highlights for February was the 8th annual Diversity@Work conference, titled The Changing Faces of Workplace Diversity. Skills for Change is committed to providing the community with tools and information that can help in making workplaces more diverse and inclusive. This year's conference did just that - with nearly 200 in attendance, participants were able to get information on a number of topics related to diversity in the workplace. More details are listed below. I'd like to personally thank our staff and volunteers for their hard work in organizing this conference. 

In this issue, you will find information on upcoming courses and events, including new class session dates; we'd also like to remind you that our Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is starting in April and pre-registration is open for this program. We also have a new Seniors Mentoring Entrepreneurs speakers session coming up! 

We hope you take the time to read through all of the information in the newsletter as we detail programming for youth, women, newcomers, seniors and much more. We encourage you to contact us at for more information about our work.

Warm regards,

Surranna Sandy
Chief Executive Officer

2017 Diversity@Work Conference
On February 23rd we hosted our 8th annual Diversity@Work conference - The Changing Faces of Workplace Diversity. Initial feedback from participants indicate the conference was a success. Topics addressed key issues such as race and ethnicity in the workplace, faith and spirituality, persons with disabilities and much more.  Pictures, videos and presentations will be available soon on the conference's website. Click here to see the full list of speakers and their presentation topics.

Skills for Change would like to thank our sponsors, CPA Ontario (lead sponsor), DLA Piper and Employment Ontario, as well as our community partners The Chang School, Ryerson University (lead partner), First Work and New Horizons Media for their support of the event. 

MPP Mitzie Hunter's 4th annual Youth Career Fair
Skills for Change attended MPP Mitzie Hunter's 4th annual Youth Career Fair at UofT Scarborough on Friday, February 24th. There were many young people seeking information about how to prepare for and find their first part-time job. Skills for Change gave out information about our Youth Job Link (YJL) program and connected with those who fell within the age requirements. 

Click here for more information about our employment services for youth, or contact Denisha Ricketts at

Next Employment Ontario Events:

March 8 - Stratosphere hiring event (EO East)

March 14 - CPA info session (EO East)
March 15 - Spring Jog hiring Event at Golder Mile

Click here to see the full list of events for the month of March
Settlement Information Sessions and Workshops
Workshops and settlement orientations are being conducted at various shelters in the GTA for eligible clients. Settlement orientation sessions are now being delivered by staff to various Toronto District School Board English as a Second Language classes in the GTA. Students are given access to information about settlement, where services are available and referrals to appropriate services that meet their settlement needs.

For more information or to arrange settlement orientations or workshops for your organization contact Varni Tayalan at

Language Programs Field Trips
Participants in the language classes (LINC/ELT) enjoyed field trips in the month of February 2017 to Allen Gardens, Art Gallery of Ontario and Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Queens Park). Field trips are incorporated into the language curriculum to assist participant with learning about Canadian History, Government and create a more interactive learning environment. Click here for more information about our language programs.
New Class Sessions & Other SfC News
Want to improve your English? Learn Canadian culture and participate in field trips throughout the GTA. Language Instruction for Newcomer to Canada (LINC) levels 4/5 and 6/7 is the answer. Session 5 is in progress and will end on March 31, 2017. Continuous intake. Please refer clients. We offer child care through the Care for Newcomer Children (CNC) program for LINC participants with children from 19 months to 5 years of age. Registrants must be assessed by the YMCA to be eligible for the LINC program.

Please contact Faduma Muse at or call 416-658-3101 ext. 229

Are you an Internationally-trained Engineering/IT or Retail Sales Management professional? Learn Canadian workplace culture, sector-specific terminology and prepare to secure employment in your profession through our Enhanced Language Training (ELT) program. The current session commenced on February 27, 2017 and will end on March 30, 2017. Continuous intake. Please refer clients. Registrants must be assessed by the YMCA to be eligible for the LINC program. Next session is scheduled to start April 3, 2017.

Contact Mevin Sannaseeaya at
or 416-658-3101 ext. 206.

ESL/Medical Terminology, CLB 7/8
This ESL program will help learners develop specific communication skills necessary to work in a medical environment.  The program is 20-weeks long, Saturday's, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
English as a Second Language classes are offered on a continuous intake. 
For additional information and to register contact: 416-658-3101 ext. 0.

Are you new to Canada and looking for settlement advice in the GTA? Our Settlement Workers will be happy to meet with you and your family to discuss your settlement needs, refer you to services and appropriate support, and prepare an action plan to ensure you are on track to reach your settlement goals.

Lynda Davey-Longstreet at ext. 232,

Melike Gokce at ext. 290,

Andres Monsalve ext. 221

Anaan Moro ext. 239

Refugee Youth
Are you new to Canada and between the ages of 16-29? Skills for Change facilitates the integration into the Canadian society and workplace culture through workshops, networking activities, information and counselling sessions covering topics such as educational/professional development, financial literacy, health and wellness, and Canadian culture, among others. 

Interested in registering or more information contact: 416-658-3101

Mentoring for Change
Have you completed an employment preparation program? Need to increase your networks? Still having trouble finding employment? Are you an internationally-trained professional? You may consider getting matched with a mentor in your profession. Mentors can coach and guide you through the Canadian workplace culture or answer questions.

Want to become a Mentoring Champion?
As a Mentor, you can help job seekers in various ways: Enhance communication skills, sharpen job search techniques and provide guidance to access community information and resources. Consider the rewards of helping to develop others through mentoring. 

Contact Rosaline Graham at
416-658-3101 x264
Trades Win Support Program Update
The Trades Win Support Program provides training and employment support to internationally-trained tradespersons: electricians, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, industrial millwrights and plumbers. The program is delivered from our Peel (Brampton) and York (Markham) locations and consists of employment preparation (including occupation-specific language training) delivered by Skills for Change and technical hands-on training delivered by our training partners Humber College or Stanford International College. Additional supports include: mentoring, work experience placements and job development support.

We are currently doing ongoing recruitment for all sectors.
Electricians (309A, 442A), Millwrights (433A), Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (313A, 313D), Mechanics Plumbers (306A)

Contact Details
Peel (905) 595 1679 ext 103
York (905) 764-0202 ext 101
Personal Income Tax Clinic
Skills for Change, in partnership with Canada Revenue Agency, welcomes you to the Community Volunteer Income Tax Clinic. We will be accepting calls to set an appointment to prepare income tax returns for low income earners after March 13, 2017.  Click here  for more information and how to register.
Timely Interview Preparedness Session (TIPS) for Job seekers
Through our Mentoring for Employment program we are offering clients the opportunity to participate in the Timely Interview Preparedness Session (TIPS) for Job seekers.
Responding to interview questions, especially behavioural one, can be quite challenging; however, practice and professional support can make it easier. Plan to succeed at your next job interview by preparing and practicing with the support of an experienced HR Professional.
Mentor, Susan Anderson, will facilitate the clients learning through groups and individual mock interview sessions.

Session are held on Tuesdays from 3 pm - 5 pm. Next session dates are March 7, 14, 28 and April 4, 11,18. For more information, or how to register, contact Rosaline Graham at
Skills for Trades 1st Cohort Graduation
The Skills for Trades program provides needs assessments, referrals, information sessions, and extensive training to low income immigrant youth who want to access employment in the skilled trades sector.
The 1st cohort of the program has completed all 3 trainings and graduated. 

For more information about this program please contact Bani Rafeh at

Seniors Mentoring Entrepreneur
Speakers Session - Part I
Join us, on March 7th, from 5pm to 7pm, for a special speakers session to learn more about entrepreneurship, how to start your own business, ask questions, and network! 
The 4 ways to start a business of your own

Charlene is an Lifestyle and Leadership Coach, Mindset Mentor, author, and speaker. Her expertise in the areas of wellness, lifestyle counseling and entrepreneurial coaching is the result of more than 45 years of study and practice.

Charlene will discuss the pros and cons of each way of starting your business, our changing world, our paradigms, and what people are looking for.  
Click here for more information and how to register.
Skills for Change

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