Author Archives: Carrie Wakeford

Entering a Skilled Trade

man working on a carAdult Training and Skills Development organizations offer programs that help people prepare to “hit the ground running” when they register for an apprenticeship. 

We also offer programs to current apprentices who may need some support through their training.  We can even help people prepare to write the Certificate of Qualification (C of Q).

Getting free, personalized training that you can start right away, both online or in person – what could be easier?

Pre-Apprenticeship – Where to Start

Whether you want training or a refresher, we can design a pre-apprenticeship program for you so you are ready to complete your apprenticeship successfully. 

We can help you identify the strengths you already have for the trade you want to work in. 

We can also help you identify any areas you may want to upgrade or refresh before starting out in a trade. 

Some trades even have a ‘trade specific’ assessment.  This will help you see what is needed for success in the trade you are thinking about entering.

Training Options

Computer Skills: You may be interested in gaining computer skills, so you are ready to do the in-class part of your training.  You may be interested in learning to use tablets that many employers will ask you to use on the job.  You might be interested in learning about apps since many trades use apps now.

Communication: You might be thinking about developing the communication skills you will need for success both in class and on the job. 

Math: Many trades rely on various levels of math.  If it has been a while since you have taken a math course, perhaps a refresher will help sharpen your skills so trades specific math will be less of a challenge.  

Soft Skills: Employers tell us they want employees with skills like problem solving, time management, teamwork, organization and customer service.  We can help you sharpen these skills so you can add them to your resume. 

You will also gain strategies that will help you handle the challenging tasks you may face in class and on the job.

Whatever it is you need to prepare for success in the skilled trades, we can support you in gaining the base skills you will need.  

For Current Apprentices

Adult Training and Skills Development organizations also help people who are currently working in a trade or registered as an apprentice but need a bit of extra support in areas such as math, communication, computer skills or soft skills. 

As mentioned, we can also help you prepare to write your Certificate of Qualification (CofQ).

Who to Contact?

For more information you can contact any of the programs in your area.

City of Kawartha Lakes Programs
Haliburton Programs
Hastings Programs
Northumberland Programs
Peterborough Programs

You can also download a flyer:

KAWARTHA LAKES Flyer
HALIBURTON Flyer
HASTINGS Flyer
NORTHUMBERLAND Flyer
PETERBOROUGH Flyer

If you would like more information contact Carrie at or call (705) 313-4385.


 

Support Ontario Youth

Breaking barriers and fulfilling a need: How Support Ontario Youth (SOY) matches qualified apprentices with employers in the trades sector

This charity is de-stigmatizing what it means to work in a trade and is helping a high-demand industry find much-needed employees.

Working in the trades can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding, but there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to dismantling the stigma that this career path is an inferior choice.

It’s something that Support Ontario Youth (SOY), a charity that matches employers with qualified apprentices, aims to change.

“Decades ago, skilled trades were not promoted as a viable career option and was considered a less significant educational pathway. High school students believed that if they could not get into university, then trades were their only option,” explains Glenda Rahn, Program Manager with Support Ontario Youth.

“It has taken the re-educating of some parents, high school guidance counselors and teachers, so that they can better understand the educational pathway of an apprenticeship and how to promote it as a viable career choice that’s equal to, or better, than a university and/or college education. Post-secondary education is usually what people think of when planning to secure a career that pays well and provides purpose in life. Well, we say apprenticeship is also an excellent educational choice too.”

The other misconception SOY is trying to change is that only post-secondary graduates can become an apprentice. Rahn says anyone can apply, anyone – old or young, even high school graduates. “At the high school level, there’s a lot of work to be done to dismantle the trades stigma. I believe elementary schools should be educating young kids in the many benefits of working in the skilled trades. To have a career where you can work with your hands, think on your feet, problem-solve, proudly build, create and stay physically fit is very rewarding,” she says.

Industry supports

Support Ontario Youth was developed in 2016 by the Ontario Electrical League (an association for electrical contractors) as a way to fill the high demand for apprentices and to be able to support them throughout their apprenticeship journey.

Starting out with 30–40 employers and apprentices in the electrical industry (309A), the organization has since grown to over 150 progressive-employers and more than 200 quality skilled-trades apprentices. SOY has since added plumbing (306A), millwright (433A), residential air conditioning mechanic (313D) and low-rise sheet metal (308R) with a focus on the construction and industrial sectors.

Staff at SOY have also grown from three to 15. This has allowed them to not only mentor and place more apprentices but also partner with organizations whose focus includes supporting underrepresented groups to succeed in the trades. These partnerships also allow SOY to develop a really strong wrap-around support system and ensure candidates are thoroughly supported, mentored and/or partnered with the right organization to help them succeed on their path.

How SOY supports women

SOY has a strong emphasis on making trades accessible and enticing to new Canadians and women. “It’s important that we access all resources and supports that are available to young women because women working in the trades do experience more barriers with finding employment. Working in a male-dominated profession and learning to develop a “thick skin” to finish their apprenticeship is only one of the realities that women have to address to succeed,” says Rahn.

“We recently worked with Build a Dream, an organization that delivers programs to encourage female students to explore careers where women are underrepresented. A few of our apprentices were able to receive a toolkit from them to help support their career. These are the connections and resources that need to come together to continually support apprentices in the trades.”

How SOY supports employers

Ontario is currently facing a labour shortage in the skilled trades. The Ontario government has pledged $90 million over the next three years to increase the appeal and awareness of careers in the trades, provide more funding for an apprenticeship program and provide increased benefits for employers.

According to a report from apprenticeship youth advisors, there were approximately 200,000 unfilled trade jobs in the province in 2019. The government predicts by 2025, as many as one in five jobs will be in the skilled trades, with a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the next decade.

SOY is committed to helping address this shortfall by matching high-quality candidates with small to medium-sized employers. They simplify the hiring process by taking care of the recruiting, registering, paperwork and screening for

  • 309A Construction & Maintenance Electrician
  • 306A Plumber
  • 313D Residential Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • 308RLow-rise Sheet metal
  • 433A Industrial Millwright Mechanic

Approval to add 442A Industrial Electrician is pending. SOY is working with other industry associations to continue expanding into more trades in the future based on employer support and industry demand.

SOY acts as a one-stop-shop for employers and any supports they need when hiring and training an apprentice. “Part of our role is to support employers who want to hire, but don’t know where to start. We want them to understand that they’re a key part of this apprenticeship system and if there is a hurdle or barrier for them, any, we want to help them overcome it. This saves an employer a lot of time, money and energy when they’re trying to run a business,” says Rahn.

  1. Services and supports include:
    Recruitment: With strict pre-screening practices, employers can feel confident they are receiving candidates who have the necessary skills, training and personality for the job.
  2. Access to funding: SOY helps employers by making them aware of funding initiatives from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, as well as understanding and accessing federal initiatives.
  3. Group sponsorship: SOY eases labour management by being a group sponsor. This means SOY holds the registered training agreement for the apprentice, so when an apprentice goes back to school, SOY can find another apprentice for the employer, if needed. This allows for labour mobility and allows them to help the employer keep their business running efficiently.
  4. Retention Support: SOY, in collaboration with each employer, can also offer an Employment Insurance (EI) top-up for those their apprentices when they are back in school.

“One of the barriers to completion can be that apprentices don’t financially plan and prepare for the extra costs of going back to school. An apprentice should be budgeting between $1,200 – $1,500 (more if they have “adult bills” to take care of, which is a reality when we consider the average age of an apprentice is 28 years old), for when they get their offer to go back to school. The EI top-up program can be a retention strategy for employers and can alleviate the stress for an apprentice, especially if you are on EI without any other support.”

Giving apprentices a head-start by belonging to a Group Sponsor Organization
Not only do candidates benefit from being matched with employers, they can also take advantage of SOY’s guidance and mentorship on becoming a registered apprentice in Ontario.

For some new apprentices, this includes what to expect on the job, tracking hours and competencies, financial literacy and how to stand out as an “ideal candidate” for an employer.

In the event they do get laid off or find themselves unemployed while apprenticing, SOY works with the individual ensuring that their registered training agreement (RTA) stays active so their apprenticeship can continue (funding qualifications and staying on the list for their levelled-schooling are just a few examples of this necessary support).

SOY also provides help with résumé writing and networking to help them stay on track and get placed with another employer in a timely manner.

Employers and aspiring apprentices can find out more at SOY’s website. The organization also offers Tools in the Trades Boot Camps for a variety of sectors where candidates can attend an immersive 1-day workshop which includes guidance on interview skills, résumé writing and workplace etiquette.

For more information contact Glenda Rahn:


 

The Apprenticeship Connection

The Apprenticeship Connection green logo

The Apprenticeship Connection newsletter has been released: https://mailchi.mp/954e57248d26/the-apprenticeship-connection-issue-1

You will find:

  • Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship program information
  • Information about how LBS programs support apprenticeship success
  • Success stories, tips and statistics
  • Links to some great resources you can share

Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is part of an Ontario-wide apprenticeship committee. We will be releasing regular newsletters highlighting apprenticeships and resources. 

To learn more or to sign up to receive our newsletters visit the Learning Networks of Ontario website.

Please feel free to share our newsletter.

Next steps: 

Math and the Skilled Trades

Measurement tools including a tape measureIn addition to the well-known trades of plumber, electrician and carpenter, the skilled trades also include hairdresser, baker, child and youth worker, educational assistant, roofer, heavy equipment operator, machinist and drywall finisher.

These are just a few of the 144 skilled trades in Ontario.

Although these trades are very different, they have one thing in common – they all need the people in the field to have some math skills.

To see a full list of the 144 skilled trades visit this Explore the Trades page.  You can also learn more about the trades at the Apprentice Search website.  

Math Skills Needed in the Trades

Below you will find a list of some of the math skills needed in the trades.

  • Complete measurements
    • Distance, pressure, tolerances, temperatures, volume, quantities, perimeters
  • Assess angles
  • Read gauges
  • Read blueprints
  • Mix chemicals
  • Set prices
  • Complete estimates and invoices
  • Manage stock
  • Take orders
  • Set budgets
  • Track statistics

For a detailed list of the math skills needed in the trades, visit the foundations section of this Trades – Math document.

Don’t worry if it has been a while since you were in a math class or you have realized you are not familiar with everything on this list.  Contact any of the free adult upgrading, and training programs for help.

Trades Assessment

3D drawing of a hoursOur adult training and upgrading programs offer assessments to help you pick the skills you need to focus on to get you where you want to go in the trades.

The federal government also has a free online self-assessment.  It is called ‘Essential Skills Self-Assessment for the Trades‘.

The math section of this self-assessment will give you another list of the math skills needed in the trades.

This assessment includes measurement (metric / imperial), dimensions (area or volume), estimates (time, distance, volume or quantity), ratios and proportions (using scale drawings) and geometry (calculate slopes or elevation).

If you complete this assessment and feel like you might need assistance, contact an adult training program in your area.  We can help with training or a math refresher.

Free Adult Training and Upgrading

Adult training and upgrading programs can help you develop the core math skills needed to work in any trade.

We make sure you have the base you need so you are ready to learn trade specific math once you are in an apprenticeship, training program or when you need to learn on-the-job.

Adult training and upgrading programs are for people who are:

  • thinking about working in a trade
  • working in a trade
  • registered as an apprentice 
  • preparing for the Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) exam

We can help you pinpoint the skills you need to develop for the trade you are interested in, which means your training will be customized, short and focused.

Workbooks

There are free workbooks available online.  Below you will find two available through the Canadian Government.  

A free trades-math workbook:

A free Essential Skills workbook for the trades:

If you are working through these workbooks and find you have questions or would like some support, we can help.  

Contact Us

triangle, circle, measurements on purple backgroundContact any of our programs to find out how we can help you move successfully into a skilled trade or do well in your current apprenticeship.

For a list of services in the Haliburton, City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland and Hastings visit our programs page.  Or contact Carrie Wakeford at or 705 313-4385.

To find a program in other areas of Ontario, visit the Learning Networks of Ontario website.


 

Digital Skills in the Skilled Trades

three smart phones and a computerTradespeople, employers and educators all agree that the most important emerging skill in the trades are digital skills. This was confirmed through research done by the Conference Board of Canada and Future Skills. For the details, see the report ‘Bridging Generational Divides: Advancing Digital Skills in Canada’s Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades Ecosystem’ (September 2020).

The demand for digital skills in the trades can be seen throughout Canada and around the world. The report identified that:

“Tradespeople will need seven core digital skills: technical, information management, digital communication, virtual collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving in digital environments.” (Bridging Generational Divides, Page 9)

Adult Training and Upgrading

Adult training and upgrading programs in Ontario, also known as Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS), have seen a growth in the demand for digital skills over the years. During the pandemic, we saw the need for digital literacy skills skyrocket as everything moved online. People needed digital skills to do everyday things such as apply for financial support, communicate with their doctor or get their kids online for school. For apprentices this meant having the skills to register online, complete training, and communicate with employers digitally.

Adult training and upgrading programs in Ontario responded to the increased need for digital literacy training by developing and offering additional online and in-person training programs, including Zoom training. We want to make sure people have the skills they need to succeed in meeting their career and educational goals, including individuals preparing to start an apprenticeship.

Pre- and Post-Apprenticeship Training Options

Electrician looking at a panelAdult training and upgrading programs support people who are thinking about entering the skilled trades, including those in pre-apprenticeship programs. Additionally, we offer help to those already registered as an apprentice but who need a bit of extra support with things such as digital literacy, math and communication skills. We are also known for being able to help people prepare for success with their Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) exams.

We can also support those currently in a trade, but who might be thinking about leaving because they don’t have the core skills they need for success at the moment. With a little help, they can succeed. In this way, LBS programs can help with retention in the trades which will go a long way in improving the completion rates.

Digital Technology in the Trades: Examples

The “Bridging Generational Divides” report identifies areas where digital technology is being used in the automotive, manufacturing and food service industries, but their findings can be applied to all trades. For example, the need for computers, tablets, smartphones, apps, and handheld devices is found in all the trades to some degree.

The paper captured many examples of the growing need for digital skills in the trades, including:

  • installing and operating machines and equipment
  • using diagnostic and monitoring tools
  • programming
  • reading digital blueprints
  • completing quality control
  • digital measurement
  • communicating and sharing information with customers, trainers and other trades people (e.g. email, text, Microsoft Teams and Zoom)
  • receiving online work orders, and product and service orders from customers
    placing orders for parts and supplies
  • invoicing.

laptop with diagram of buildingFinally, there is a need for information management skills, including accessing forums for troubleshooting support and for finding information, manuals and training online.

In the ‘Bridging Generational Divides’ report you will find Table 1 ‘Impact of digitalization on the trades‘ which includes a list of ‘Skills needed to adapt to future work trends’.

An EdCan Network article ‘Skilled Trades in the Digital Age‘ provides even more examples of digital skills and tools in the trades. It includes GPS-guided excavation on construction sites and in resource extraction, accessing information on tablets, such as schematic drawings, as well as scheduling and invoicing software. It provides an example were technology can be found in equipment including heavy haulers.

They “have a tremendous number of sensors that collect data about everything from how hard the equipment is hitting bumps, to how inflated the tires are and where the bumps are located so the road can actually be fixed.”

Generational Divide

The need for digital skills is an significant development in the trades. It is made even more significant because it is being embraced at different rates. The “Bridging Generational Divides” study found that apprentices may be more open to using digital technology than a journeyperson.

For example, one of the challenges going forward will be the apprentices’ preference for text and email and a journeypersons’ preference for in person and phone discussions.

Training

Cell phone apps with hand toolsThere is a need for strong foundational skills in digital literacy for those considering a career in the skilled trades; however, there is also a need to support those already in the trades. For example, LBS can help to provide training to address the intergenerational communication differences identified in the report, such as email and text communication.

In our programs, we begin by measuring the individuals’ current skills so we can work with them to design a customized training program that will help them build on their current computer, communication and math skills. Some people come in for a refresher while others are looking to develop new skills. We create an individual plan that fits their needs and schedule including offering one-on-one, group or online training.

What was also clear in the report was the clear link between soft skills and digital skills. This includes communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. LBS programs have been recognized over the years for providing the opportunity to develop these soft skills which further prepares people for work in the trades.

Adult training and upgrading programs provide the base skills so that people in the trades have the foundation and confidence needed to learn the digital tools and software specific to their industry.

Recommendations

The ‘Bridging Generational Divides’ report concludes with a list of next steps for addressing labour and digital skills shortages. They include recommendations for employers, tradespeople, training providers, unions, and governments. To see the list of recommendations, visit page 27 of the report.

Contact Us

We recommend reaching out to any of our adult training programs located throughout Ontario to ask how we can help support the development of foundational digital literacy skills needed in all jobs, including the skilled trades.

For a list of services in the LOCS region, including Haliburton, City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland and Hastings, visit our programs page or contact Carrie Wakeford at

To find a program in other areas of Ontario visit the Learning Networks of Ontario website for help finding a program in your region.


 

Highlighting LBS Online

Digital skills are not just for the individuals who come to our programs to gain computer, tablet, smart phone and office skills. We all need to be learning. This includes those who work as trainers across Ontario.  To be prepared to support learners in reaching their work and academic goals, we need to stay current with our own skills.

Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is a member of an Ontario wide Digital Literacy Committee.  We are working with an amazing group of individuals committed to providing digital skills training to the people who train others. This is a train-the-trainer series. By staying current we are all better prepared to help learners in our programs as they develop their digital literacy skills.  

As part of this committee, LOCS developed and led a webinar for LBS organizations in Ontario including managers, instructors, practitioners and executive directors. The webinar focused on one aspect of digital skills – online promotion of our services. The webinar offered practical tips for getting found online. In the webinar we talked about what people would search for if their goal was to get their Grade 12, prepare for college or an apprenticeship or gain workplace skills. We talked about making our websites accessible, based on the AODA requirements. We also touched on social media and the value of building a web of connections.

These tips will be helpful to any organization managing a website, so we decided to share the information here so that our partners also have access.

You can watch the webinar available through the Digital Literacy Library.

We have posted a document “Getting Found Online – Resources“. This document has helpful tips as well as links that will help you test and evaluate your current website. 

We have also posted a document “Website Design and Redesign” that will be helpful in assessing your current website when you are making decisions about what you want to add and remove.

Let’s all do what we can to reach learners and clients with information about the training we offer. 

It was wonderful to meet so many people in this webinar who were committed to staying current with their own digital literacy skills.  Ontario is fortunate to have so many great organizations available to support adult learning in the province.

For more information please contact Carrie Wakeford at .


 

Training Programs – Ontario

Regional Networks

Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) is one of the 16 regional literacy networks in Ontario.  Together we make up the Learning Networks of Ontario.  Our networks work together to support adult training and literacy programs in the province and in our individual regions. 

We lead local planning within our communities, working closely with our partners, including employment services and other support organizations.

Finding A Program

Literacy Ontario Central South

LOCS represents the counties of City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Hastings, Northumberland and Peterborough.  If you are looking for training programs in these areas, visit our programs page. There you will find a link to all of the training organizations in each county.  Contact Carrie Wakeford directly if you would like assistance finding information: .

Eastern Region

LOCS works closely with our peers in the Eastern Region.  The Eastern Region includes both the Ottawa and Kingston areas.  You can find links to the Eastern Region at The Learning Networks of Ontario website.

Muskoka 

The LOCS area borders on the Muskoka area as well.  The Muskoka and LOCS region are both part of the Fleming College Service System Manager transformation area.  To find programs in the Muskoka area visit The Learning Networks of Ontario website.  The Simcoe/Muskoka Literacy Network is part of the Central Region.

Ontario

If you are in another community anywhere in Ontario, you can contact one of the 16 networks for help finding training options in your area.  All of the networks in the North, South, East and Western Ontario regions can be found at the same website The Learning Networks of Ontario.

For more information you can call or email is at LOCS.  We are available by phone at (705) 313-4385 or you can contact Carrie Wakeford at


Free Work and Academic Upgrading through Fleming College

Fleming College expands the work and education choices for Haliburton County residents

Fleming Skills On Demand multicoloured logoA young carpenter improving her math to get ahead in her career. A dad finishing what he started decades ago. A mom juggling a family, part-time work and financial struggles. A new Canadian upgrading her skills to meet course requirements for a practical nursing program.

These are just some of the people in Haliburton County who have turned to Skills on Demand: Work & Academic Upgrading—a flexible work and academic upgrading program of Fleming College, designed to help adult learners reach their educational and career goals.

The free program appeals to adults with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Learners can choose courses in a variety of subjects including math, computers, communication and sciences.

Women in office orange shirt and scarf

Marion Willemsen

Learners register for Fleming’s Skills on Demand program for a variety of reasons, explains Marion Willemsen, professor and program coordinator. Some are looking to finish high school or get the courses they need to get into college. Some work towards their Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate—a Grade 12 equivalent that opens the door to college programs and apprenticeships.  Others want to learn new skills to advance in their careers or fulfill a commitment they made to themselves. While their reasons vary, nearly all the people in the program face the challenge of adding school to an already-long list of work and family responsibilities.

“Learning becomes easier without challenges or barriers,” says Willemsen, which is why Fleming offers flexible options in an environment that is welcoming and inspiring.

Skills on Demand is delivered in small groups or through one-on-one support. Training can be taken full-time or part-time, in the day or evening – anything to accommodate work and family responsibilities. Program flexibility allows learners to start any time and provides access to multiple learning options: learning from home or work, in the classroom or online – in any combination.

Before learners attend classes, they complete an essential skills assessment, so they know where they need to start – there is no need to complete courses in things you already know. Program staff work with learners to determine their existing skills, learning style and needs.

“Sometimes learners don’t know what their goal is until they’ve done the assessment and looked at the options,” says Willemsen.

“We accept learners at any level and create an individual learning plan with each person. This plan helps them reach their goals. We always encourage each of them to set a goal so they are creating a timeline for themselves that is achievable.”

Opportunity is a two-way street and learners are in control of their own direction, Willemsen explains. And for many learners in the work and academic program, that more than rings true. As a professor, she has witnessed student success. “People have grit, work hard with determination and a real commitment to their goals.”

Like a mom who had to take a different route to complete her training during the COVID lockdown. She was working online but her kids were using the ‘bandwidth’ in the house because she was homeschooling them.

Students aren’t the only ones enriched by the program. Instructors like Willemsen, also feel a deep connection to the people they help through the program.

“There’s nothing better than helping somebody who wants to better their life and career goals by upgrading their skills. A lot of people are unsure when they start, but that’s what we’re here for. The best way to begin is just to get your foot in the door” says Willemsen.

Fleming Skills on Demand also works with other services such as Fleming CREW Employment Centre and the John Howard Society. Together, the partners offer community-based programming that helps people build skills and connect to the local workforce or go further with their education.

One new program we are offering together is a five-day bootcamp called STRIVE. This program focuses on supporting people as they prepare for work. The program was designed after local employers expressed concerns about some missing skills in the Haliburton community.

STRIVE is also a great program for employers who are thinking about offering on-the-job training.  “We can help employers with retention which is important when employers are struggling to find employees,” says Willemsen.

“We can also help employers and their staff. We have employers who send their workers to us to gain skills. In one case, there was a young carpenter who was not offered a promotion because she needed stronger math skills so she could do measurements that required her to add, subtract and multiply fractions. Her employer sent her to take the program one day a week and she successfully finished it.”

“We also provide training for people who need to learn to use Zoom or other computer skills. With COVID we have learned that not everyone has the computer skills they need to access programs, services, training, or work. We can help make that happen.

In some cases, people want to take training but they don’t have access to technology or the Internet. We can help with that too! We make sure people have what they need to access the training they want.

We want people to have fair access to computer skills and technology because it is so important – especially now. This past year we have been jumping through all sorts of hoops to try to reach people so they can continue with their program.”

Reflecting on Willemsen’s years of educating people, she highlights the importance of developing a mutual respect with learners and encouraging them on their journey.

“As instructors, we’ll do whatever we can to help our learners succeed, whether it’s one-on-one support, loaning them a laptop and even helping them with their Internet connection,” said Willemsen.

Fleming Skills On Demand multicoloured logoIf you are in Haliburton, Ontario and would like to learn more about how Fleming Skills on Demand–Work and Academic Upgrading can help you, you can contact Jennifer Gill at or call at 705-761-2382.  

To learn more about this Fleming program, visit https://flemingcollege.ca/academic-upgrading.


 

Peterborough Native Learning Program

‘7 Grandfather Teachings’ guides student learning at Peterborough Native Learning Program

Orange logo with turtleThe Seven Grandfather Teachings has been a guide for Indigenous people, communities and organizations for generations. At the Peterborough Native Learning Program (PNLP), it’s the cornerstone of everyday learning.

Jason Gilbert, PNLP’s executive director says that for over 20 years, PNLP has been reconnecting learners with their Indigenous culture and traditions.

“Whether you’re Indigenous or not, some of the most powerful teachings we can learn in our lives are rooted in Indigenous traditions,” he says. “The thing that binds us all together include the Seven Grandfather Teachings that both honour and guide Anishinaabe life—Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth.”

These core values are necessary, he adds, to our wellbeing, how we conduct ourselves in our relationships and exist in harmony and peace with the world.

PNLP also incorporates culturally-appropriate lessons and the Medicine Wheel, which reminds us that we need to balance the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical parts of our lives for true wellbeing.

Gilbert says these teachings fit well into how we support learners in overcoming challenges and barriers.

PNLP is an adult learning agency that helps individuals over the age of 19 reach their goals. The organization is considered a key resource for Indigenous, non-Indigenous and New Canadians wanting to upgrade their skills to benefit them in life, a career, training or education.

Learners attend PNLP for many reasons. Some people want to complete their Grade 12 or their GED (a credential that says that you have grade 12 level knowledge even without a diploma), or they have their sights set on attending college or university.

Learners can take courses at their own pace, including GED test preparation. People also work on developing their employment readiness – skills that will prepare them for work. Apprenticeship preparation and digital skills training and support is also available.

All courses at PNLP are taught by instructors who start by helping each learner set individual goals. Instructors then provide whatever training and support is needed by each person.  It is really customized training.

PNLP also supports people in overcoming barriers so that they can reach the goals they set. “We’ve had students who struggle with poverty, live with emotional or physical trauma, mental health challenges or are in drug addiction recovery or suffer from addictions.  Showing them that there’s love and respect at PNLP is very important to us. We support people going through personal challenges through the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth can definitely provide a clear path forward.”

“A key focus for us is to get Indigenous learners into a position where they can find work, prepare for learning or gain confidence in their lives.” says Gilbert.  “An education leads to healthier and more productive lives.” “We understand the challenges people face; our goal is to support them each step of the way. As they go through our program, we see their confidence build.” says Gilbert.  He’s seen firsthand the successes of learners who have worked so hard to accomplish their education and career goals.

He recalls one student who had a difficult time reaching her goal. The student met with a PNLP instructor who worked closely with her to develop a learning plan. Within a short time, she reached her Level 3—the highest skill level at PNLP. She moved on to Fleming Skills on Demand – Work and Academic Upgrading and then she completed a healthcare program.

“For that learner, getting to that point was a huge success, and it was great that PNLP could help get her there,” says Gilbert.

His other favourite story is of a learner who approached PNLP because she wanted to apply to the Fleming College Firefighter program. Her only roadblock, she didn’t have Grade 12 C Math and needed assistance.

“Our instructor worked one-on-one with this student. She applied herself with such dedication and did her math work every single day. What could have taken her two years to complete, she did successfully in six months and got accepted into the Firefighting course at Fleming College. It was an incredibly proud moment for her—and for us!” says Gilbert.

PNLP also works with community partners, including Curve Lake Business Employment Resource Centre to help Curve Lake members develop skills for employment.

Notice of fundraising campaign and link to Canada HelpsGilbert enjoys connecting with other agencies and welcomes referrals.  “We are proud of the work we do and are happy that PNLP is really becoming known throughout Peterborough and County.  The increase recognition and referrals confirm that we are really offering something beneficial in the community.”

“We’re getting ourselves out there and letting people know who we are and what we’re doing,” says Gilbert. “There’s more emphasis on preserving Indigenous culture and more focus on the Seven Grandfather Teachings. We also attend events on reserves and in the community.  We present at job fairs and host employment readiness workshops to let people know what we do.”

“We have a great relationship with our community partners and work closely with other organizations, making referrals so that each learner is supported in all aspects of their lives.”

Visit the Kawartha Now for an article highlighting the work the Peterborough Native Learning Program does in the community.

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Peterborough Native Learning Program is located in Peterborough, Curve Lake and Lakefield.

Discover your strengths and improve your skills by working with the team at https://www.pnlp.org.

For more information, to register or to make a referral, contact Wanda Prince.

Wanda Prince

Peterborough, Lakefield & Curve Lake
Unit 6 – 360 George St. N.
705-741-0798

You can also visit our programs page: Peterborough Programs.

Social Media

Updated: June 1, 2021

Following the LBS organizations, employment services and community services in your area just got easier!

Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) has created a document that includes links to websites and social media sites for organizations in Central Ontario.

You can download the complete list here: Social Media PDF.

To make it effortless for you, we’ve included a Table of Contents with links that will take you to the specific county and service you’re looking for.

These social media sites provide great options to stay connected with others and to get up-to-date information on current programs, training information and resources.

LOCS supports LBS organizations in the counties of City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Hastings, Northumberland and Peterborough. We also work closely with employment service partners in each of these five counties and a wide range of other community services. Social Media is a great way to share current program and training information as well as resources.


You can follow LOCS on Twitter and Facebook.

If you would like to submit a change or be added to our list, please contact Carrie Wakeford at .