Our Learning Centre is a resource for our residential clients who have experienced previous barriers to employment, including homelessness, addiction, and incarceration. For our learners, success comes in many forms – simply learning how to turn on a computer can be a tremendous achievement! The primary objective of the Learning Centre is to improve employability and employment stability through supportive, individually-targeted education and personal development.
With the support of our Learning Centre coordinator and volunteers, participants develop new skills and improve their employability through three key learning streams:
• Adult Basic Education & Literacy Programs
• Career Development, Life Skills & Work Readiness
• Creativity, Critical Thinking & Community Engagement
Career Development, Life Skills & Work Readiness
Computer skills are taught in a mix of group and one-to-one coaching. Skills are developed progressively, until the student has created an email address, started a resume, and used search tools to begin looking for work. Life skills such as resume writing, budgeting, mindfulness, and stress management are also part of the Learning Centre’s activities. Work readiness is further supported through training in common certifications, such as FoodSafe, WHMIS, and Occupational First Aid. These certificates can improve earning potential, particularly in the local hospitality and construction industries.
Adult Basic Education & Literacy Programs
Adult basic education and literacy programming is self-directed, and supported by the guidance and tutoring of the Learning Centre Coordinator. Teaching approaches vary according to individual needs, subjects, and goals. Many participants set a goal of completing their high school equivalency, while others are learning to read and write in English, and still others are upgrading their skills in preparation for post-secondary courses.
Creativity, Critical Thinking & Community Engagement
This learning stream focuses on some of the “soft” skills that can improve employment stability, such as critical thinking, conflict resolution, and creativity. Activities vary throughout the year, in order to meet the changing goals of the participants. Clients in the “philosopher’s club” learn to be curious and critical thinkers and to work through disagreements with respect – important skills when entering a new work environment! Writers and artists in the Learning Centre learn editing, collaboration, and design skills when creating their quarterly newsletter.