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Employment and Training

Employment and Training

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Our Employment and Training Services is a provincially-funded employment centre that provides one-on-one support for people looking to find meaningful and sustainable employment.

Update regarding programs & services at Fred Victor Employment & Training Services:

We are excited to welcome the community back safely to offices.

At this time, we are open for:

  • We are open for walk-ins and scheduled 1:1 appointments
  • We are open for walk-ins of our Employment Resource Centre (job search, resume work, etc).

To schedule an appointment or attend our virtual sessions, please contact us via phone at 416-364-9172 or email at ets.info@fredvictor.org

Job seekers are matched with a case worker that has unique knowledge and access to job-related networks. Together, they develop an action plan that may include setting career goals, attending training sessions, and skills and/or education upgrading.

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Each year, approximately 1,000 clients visit Fred Victor Employment and Training Services.

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Currently, we have the following training opportunities available:

  • Career Directions in Hospitality
  • Career Exploration
  • On the Path to Employment
  • Peer Tutors

Career Directions in Hospitality

Develop a taste for success in the Hospitality and Food Service industries. Open to all Ontario Works participants, this 10-week course is for anyone interested in working in the food service industry. The program offers a flexible structure to accommodate various schedules and includes a field placement in our Friends Restaurant and the completion of recognized food handling certificates.

Career Exploration

Open to all Ontario Works participants, this 10-week course is for anyone who needs additional one-on-one support in finding and keeping suitable employment. This program is designed for those who have experienced challenges finding employment, and those who have struggled to regain employment. Participants learn basic computer skills in Windows 10: MS-Word, MS-Excel, Outlook & MS-PowerPoint, Internet and E-mail, no previous computer experience required.

On the Path to Employment 

This program understands the needs of adult learners as it relates to job readiness. Each participant works with a coach and an employment specialist to meet their employment goals, learning new skills, meeting pre-employment needs, writing an effective resume, and developing interview skills. The Path to Employment also refers program participants to educational upgrading programs, helps people find volunteer experiences and assists people to build confidence as life-long learners.

Peer Tutors

Open to anyone in the Fred Victor community, this program offers informal training and work experience.

Social Service Training and Employment Program (SSTEP)

Employment programs for people with lived experience of homelessness who wish to re-enter the workforce. Cooling Centre staff receive training, supports and paid work during heat alerts to prepare for future employment. Peer Navigators receive entry-level training and supports within Fred Victor to build skills for employment in social services.

The SSTEP program offers:

  • one-on-one support with an Employment Specialist
  • opportunity to develop work experience in the social services
  • personal action plan to support career goals
  • connections to other agencies for possible work opportunities
  • free training in First Aid, CPI and Customer Services

Our Impact

In 2020/21:

  • 332 new clients registered for program and services with Employment and Training Services in 2020
  • 3,796 times people accessed Employment and Training Services virtual workshops and trainings, including Stress Management, Self-Care, Career Planning, and Computer Basics
  • 103 people found jobs or started formal education, such as post-secondary in their chosen sector after accessing Employment and Training Services
  • 24 resilient women joined the Women’s Bakery program and completed our first ever blended model training, completing their life skills and employment training virtually, and their hands-on, in-person baking training in a safe, physically distanced kitchen space; graduates went on to secure jobs, pursue further formal education and self-employment
  • 60 clients received training and certification toward opportunities in Community and Social Services, including Harm Reduction and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
  • 20 participants completed Hospitality Skills training through our Career Directions in Hospitality program, and received certifications in Smart Serve, Safe Food Handler, Emergency First Aid and CPR
  • 71 people had on-the-job training as Outreach Workers and Cooling Centre Peer Workers and Team Leads on the Keep Cool Team
  • 34 individuals were connected with funds for a device (laptop or tablet) and internet, and were supported with community resources and outreach services through the Community Outreach and Social Wellness program

While we support over 1,000 people towards achieving their employment goals every year, not everyone graduates. The people who access Fred Victor’s Employment and Training Programs are often struggling with multiple barriers and challenges to employment. The COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately compounded the barriers being experienced by Fred Victor clients. 

Some of the reasons people do not complete the program:

  • people’s health deteriorates to a point where they can no longer participate
  • people were not ready (physically, mentally) to meet the program expectations
  • they secured housing that took them too far away to stay in the program
  • they secured employment or got into a program that better suited their interests/circumstances
  • we were not able to assist with barriers that prevented them from finishing (for example, child care, lack of confidence, addiction and substance use, housing, mental illness, prior legal issues, immigration)
  • individual did not have consistent access to technology (email, phone, voicemail, computer) to communicate with staff, to attend virtual training sessions, to complete online applications, to attend virtual interviews 

Fred Victor is contracted by the City of Toronto each year to operate their Keep Cool initiative (formerly the Cooling Centres), which includes street outreach and the operation of 8 Cooling Centres this year.

Fred Victor began operating the original seven Cooling Centre in 2007 in collaboration with others many organizations. Through the collaboration, the Cooling Centres offered individuals who have experience of homeless or at-risk of homelessness a work opportunity to gain employment skills and a current employment opportunity to put on their resume. Many Fred Victor staff started their long journey with FV as Cooling Centre staff.

This year we will be operating 8 Cooling Centres across the City of Toronto, including a 24-hour Metro Hall location, and conduct street outreach in the downtown core. This great initiative has given Employment and Training Services (ETS) the opportunity to offer on-call paid employment to +50 individuals who have experience of homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.

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