April 2017  NEWSLETTER
Dear Reader,

We welcomed spring, as we closed out our fiscal year-end. It has been a busy month, but I'd like to personally thank staff for their hard work in ensuring our fiscal year was closed out on March 31st. We will now work to report on our 2016/17 year in our annual report, to share with you all at our Annual General Meeting, being held on September 13th at Toronto City Hall's Council Chambers.

On Tuesday, April 4th, Skills for Change was pleased to hosted the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Citizenship, Refugees and Citizenship, MPs for the federal government, for a press conference and meet and greet at our Peel office.The Ministers were called there to make an announcement in regards to the recent Federal budget, of a Targeted Employment Strategy. A few key components of this strategy include: expanding pre-arrival services to ensure newcomers are better prepared to settle when they arrive in Canada; a new portal that newcomers can access, to assess their international accreditation and apply for certification prior to landing in Canada; a loan program to cover costs such as licensing, exams, training, skills upgrading associated with getting foreign credentials recognized; and testing innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their professions. I'd like to thank the staff who worked very hard to put this event together, and a special thanks to our Peel staff who banded together to transform the space and ensure everything ran smoothly.

In this issue, you will find information on upcoming courses and events, including new class session dates. This month, we announce new hours of operation for our Employment Ontario East and West offices. The new hours come as a result of consultation and feedback from our clients and staff. We would like to also announce the launch of The Hub @791.This hub will provide expanded services for language, settlement, youth and women, and exciting online learning components. Our official launch will be on Thursday, April 27th, where you will find out more information about these services, and we will host an open house at 791 St. Clair Avenue west.

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 communications@skillsforchange.org for more information about our work.

Warm regards,

Surranna Sandy
Chief Executive Officer

Employment Ontario NEW Hours of Operation
Skills for Change Employment Ontario locations are operating on new hours. Effective on April 1st, our two locations will be open in the following days/hours: Monday  to Wednesday 9:00am - 5:00pm; Thursdays 9:00am - 8:00pm; Friday to Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm. Click here for more information about our employment services.
The Hub @791 Open House - Save the Date!
We are excited to be launching a NEW Immigrant, Refugee and Settlement (IRS) Hub at our 791 St. Clair Ave West location. The official launch date & Open House will be on Thursday, April 27th. Please save the date...more details to come!
Upcoming Programs and Events

Step Ahead II

Step Ahead provides youth in the with Jane-Finch area (12 - 18 years old) various modules/workshops in areas such as: Leadership for Career Development: Entrepreneurship; and Community Impact.
Click here for more information.
IT for Mobile Applications

We are currently accepting referrals to our IT for Mobile Applications Program. This program teaches students how to create and maintain apps for Apple iOS and Android devices. Intake and assessment are currently being conducted. Click here for more information.
Career Skills Open House

Join us on Saturday, April 8, for our Career Skills Open House! We will have flyers and instructors from all courses available from 10:00AM to 12:00PM answering questions and providing more information about the courses.
Click here to learn more about our Career Skills courses.

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 6 starts on April 4th and will end on June 10, 2017. Click here for the year's full schedule. 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
fmuse@skillsforchange.org 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 April 3, 2017 and will end on May 5, 2017. Click here  for the full schedule. Continuous intake. Please refer clients. Registrants must be assessed by the YMCA to be eligible for the LINC program.

Contact Mevin Sannaseeaya at msannaseeaya@skillsforchange.org
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.

Upcoming classes
Electricians (309A, 442A): May, June
HVAC (313A, 313D): May, June
Millwrights (433A): July

Contact Details
Peel (905) 595 1679 ext 103
York (905) 764-0202 ext 101
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 April 4, 11, 18. For more information, or how to register, contact Rosaline Graham at rgraham@skillsforchange.org.
Being a Smart Consumer
Settlement Information Session
Are you new to Canada? As a new Canadian, are you aware of how to avoid scams and identity theft? Join us for an information session with Erin Webb from the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services on how to be a smart consumer. Topics include: shopping tips, common scams, and more!
Click here for more information and how to register.
Federal Government Press Conference
Skills for Change was pleased to host the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Citizenship, Refugees and Citizenship, MPs for the federal government, for a press conference and meet and greet at our Peel office. The press conference was attended by the Mayor of Brampton Linda Jeffrey, local and national media outlets, numerous community partners and our clients. Along with myself, the Mayor and the two Ministers, our former Trades Win Support Program client, Dwain Paul spoke about his experience as a new immigrant back in 2012, and how Skills for Change and the TWSP helped him in obtaining his credentialing to become a certified Electrician, and as a result, removed barriers for employment. His story was an inspiring one, and provided guests with a success story of someone who benefited from a bridging program, and why these programs are important to continue and grow.

More information about this event can be found on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Skills for Change

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