A Stepping Stone to Employment

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Are you interested in working in the retail sector? Do you feel that your English language skills need some improvement in order to do this? Are you an immigrant or refugee who speaks English as a Second Language at an intermediate (CLB 5/6) level? Then you may be eligible for the Employment Preparation for Retail Services (EPRS) program which is offered at Skills for Change.

This program is offered in partnership by the Adult Education Program of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Skills for Change and the Hudson’s Bay Company. It started in November 2000 and provides language training and job search skills to assist internationally trained individuals in securing employment in the retail and customer service sectors. This 16 week program provides communication skills for the retail sector and six weeks of work experience placement at a Hudson’s Bay store, including The Bay, Zellers, or Home Outfitters. In the past, 32 out of 50 graduates have been hired; of those employed, 26 were hired by The Hudson’s Bay Company.

In addition to this success, the value of the program can be seen in the comments of the learners who have attended the classes. One student wrote of EPRS: ‘The topics that I found the most interesting were the sales presentation and verbal and non-verbal languages. I found these were informative for the retail sector as well as useful in my everyday life.’ And, of course, many learners echoed the same sentiment as this one: “I am looking forward to getting some experience and practice of what I learned in class by dealing with customers.” And finally, a comment that is even better than a rose for an instructor: “For sure the EPRS had a positive impact on my life. I believe that it was the most important step stone that I’ve taken.”

So, if you are ready to take this step, contact Skills for Change at (416) 658-3101 ext. 0 or 103. The current program started September 2nd, 2008 but there is always ongoing registration.

For more information on this program, go to www.skillsforchange.org/eprs . For information on other programs offered by the TCDSB Adult Education Program click on www.tcdsb.org/adulted

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